This is the first book of its kind to provide direct evidence for the effectiveness of traditional and progressive teaching methods. It reports on careful and extensive case studies of two schools which taught mathematics in totally different ways. Three hundred students were followed over three years and the interviews that are reproduced in the book give compelling insights into what it meant to be a student in the classrooms of the two schools. The different school approaches are compared and analyzed using student interviews, lesson observations, questionnaires given to students and staff and a range of different assessments, including GCSE examinations. Questions are raised about the effectiveness of different teaching methods in preparing students for the demands of the 'real world' and the 21st century, the impact of setted and mixed ability teaching upon student attitude and achievement, and gender and learning styles. New evidence is provided for each of these issues.
The book draws some radical new conclusions about the ways that traditional teaching methods lead to limited forms of knowledge that are ineffective in non-school settings. The book will be essential reading for math teachers, parents, and policy makers in education.