Measurement: everywhere and nowhere in secondary mathematics

Jones, Keith (2010) Measurement: everywhere and nowhere in secondary mathematics Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics, 30, (3), pp. 142-146.


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School mathematics is commonly structured into number, algebra, geometry and statistics. This raises the issue of where to place ideas within the topic of measurement since some aspects of measurement (such as measuring length or area) have a geometrical component, while other aspects of measurement (such as time or money) are about number. Furthermore, when actual measures are unknown, relationships between measures can be expressed – and this is one of the roots of algebra. Additionally, probability can be thought of as a form of measure (of uncertainty) and the various measures of data variation, such as standard deviation, can also be viewed as a form of measurement. All these considerations mean that the placing of measurement in the mathematics curriculum can be problematic for curriculum designers and policy makers; and equally tricky for teachers to teach in the most effective way. Informed by a review of the research basis for teaching key ideas in secondary school mathematics, this paper argues that measurement is both everywhere and nowhere in secondary mathematics; that is, measurement occurs across the topics that comprise secondary school mathematics, but the ideas of measurement are so scattered that the teaching of measurement in secondary school mathematics may lack some focus that might store up problems for learners as they progress with mathematics.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The pagination of this author's pre-print is almost identical to the published version.
ISSNs: 1463-6840 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: measurement, pedagogy, curriculum, teaching, learning, geometry, mathematics, england, geometric, geometrical, textbook, deductive reasoning, proof, proving, school, national curriculum, classroom
Organisations: Mathematics, Science & Health Education
ePrint ID: 191403
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2011 08:12
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 01:55
Further Information:Google Scholar

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