Professional Development

"Reading Maths is Hard"

There is a tendency for mathematical reading to be perceived as a particularly difficult skill, especially in the UK. In this session, I talk about some of the characteristics of mathematics text that can make it more complex and I discuss some of the limited research on students’ reading of mathematical text. I then introduce the mathematics textbook as an important reading resource, and use real-life examples to talk about the extent of the textual content in mathematics textbooks, comparing this with other subjects, and across different levels of mathematics education.

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About Beth Woollacott

Beth Woollacott is a doctoral researcher from Loughborough University with a specific focus on the design of mathematics textbooks and how students use them. She has a collaborative studentship with Oxford University Press; as part of this collaboration, she has had several placements within the STEM education publishing team, which has given her insights into the textbook publishing process, helping her to really consider the practical application of her research. If you want to hear more about Beth’s PhD and some of her findings, listen to her guest appearance on the Mr Barton Maths podcast here.


Ages: primary and secondary