MEC seminar - 28 April 2021

  • 28 April 2021
  • 10.00-12.15
  • Microsoft Teams

The Mathematics Education Centre will host this research seminar via Microsoft Teams. Please note the link to join will be circulated a week before the event.

40 mins Presentation + 20 mins Q&A: Professor Kerry Lee “Helping children with low math and work memory performances: a glimmer of hope for computerised interventions” (The Education University of Hong Kong)

Approximately 5% - 6% of Singaporean students were enrolled into a learning support programme for math (LSM) on entry to primary school. Although LSM provided additional educational support to children during their first two years of formal schooling, a sizable proportion of children still performed at levels lower than their normally achieving peers even at the end of LSM. Previous efforts to assist these children using a working memory intervention resulted in an improvement in aspects of their working memory but without accompanying math improvement. In this talk, I will present results from a second iteration of that effort in which 215 children from LSM were provided with computerised training that targeted working memory, numeracy, or working memory in a numeric context. Evaluation of growth curves across four timepoints showed no working memory improvement relative to active control. However, performances on the number line, numeric discrimination, and math fluency tasks exhibited more rapid growth both immediately and six months post-training in the numeracy and numeric working memory conditions. Merits of WM versus numeracy focused intervention will be discussed.


40 mins Presentation + 20 mins Q&A: Tom Francome “How mixed-attainment grouping affects the way students experience mathematics” (Loughborough University)

Mixed-attainment mathematics teaching is not a common practice in England, despite evidence that ability grouping is not an effective strategy for improving educational outcomes. It is a much debated topic amongst teachers. In this talk, I’ll talk about the background to the debates and discuss a study comparing mathematics in two schools: School M (mixed-ability groupings) and School S (sets). These suggest grouping practices could indeed influence students’ mindsets, teachers’ mindsets and teachers’ beliefs and practices. This is interesting in 2020-2021 as social-distancing means many schools are teaching mathematics in mixed-attainment groups and has implications for further research as mixed-attainment groupings may be a factor in determining the way in which students experience learning mathematics.

Contact and booking details

Ouhao Chen
Email address
Booking required?