TheWilliams review basically focuses on teaching mathematics in earlyand primary schools. The review was set up with an aim of improvingteaching in mathematics to enhance the acquisition of knowledge bylearners. The recommendations are based on the most effectivepedagogy of teaching mathematics, the knowledge that teachers shouldhave on the subject, the most effective curriculum of mathematics,provision of best supporting programs for all children irrespectiveof their learning capabilities, the development of earlyintervention, and how parents and families should be involved inhelping children to learn mathematics (McAteer, 2013).
Aftera thorough analysis, the review was released in June 2008. Its mainfocus was mostly on practitioners and teachers. According to thereport, ITT entry level requirements remained the same GSCE Grade C.It was discussed that the trainees should be well trained inmathematics despite the fact that it is the most demanding. Inaddition, every school should have a specialist in mathematics inorder to enhance the learning of mathematics. The other area of focuswas the intervention programs that should be used to help children inthe early years and primary school learn mathematics.
Theother recommendation by the Williams review was that the localauthorities should help in strengthening the field of mathematicsconsultants. All the consultants in mathematics should attendrefreshers developed by the relevant stakeholders. The review alsoadvocates for increment of the graduate practitioners in the earlylearning settings in order to improve the learning of mathematics.Intervention of every child is crucial and should be led by aqualified practitioner. In some cases, it would also be good to workwith small groups. Similarly, the parents of every child should becommitted towards the learning of the child for maximum benefits(ImprovingPrimary Mathematics Teaching and Learning,2012).
Basically,the William’s review is based on the need to improve learning inmathematics. It is more concerned with the teachers and theirqualifications. According to the review, all teachers should behighly qualified when handling the subject of mathematics. Theyshould at least have attained a GRADE C in GCSE, which would meanthat they are good learners as well. This recommendation is crucialin learning and should not be ignored. The Williams review recognizesthe need for teachers to be educated and qualified to handlemathematics.
“Thepotential for an ITT entry requirement of grade ‘C’ GCSE in bothmathematics I and II, when they are firmly established, should beclosely examined. For students who have taken or will take GCSEsbefore then, a grade ‘C’ in single award mathematics shouldremain the requirement. This should apply to the QTS in all phases.”(Williams,2008).
William’sreview of mathematics focuses too much on the qualifications ofteachers rather than improving learning of mathematics through use ofnecessary tools. The review fails to recognize that a teacher may beeducated, but without the required tools, learning may not beeffective. It is true that the qualification of a teacher isparamount however, without the necessary tools and an effectivecurriculum, learning of mathematics may not be effective. There ismore to teaching than mere papers or qualifications.
Inaddition, the review does not bring out the connections betweenteaching and learning. It does not explain what and how the teachersshould conduct their teachings in classroom. It assumes thatqualified teacher have the skills and tool f teaching mathematics,which is not always the case. Materials for teaching play a greatrole in learning situations, hence, should be discussed as a way forenhancing learning mathematics.
Itis also notable that the review does not allow or feedback from thepupils. It also does not explain in details what should be learnt bypupils and relevant guidelines. It emphasizes on the need for havingteachers who have specialized in mathematics without touching onexperiences and the needs of pupils. Teachers may be availed inschools, but without good teaching practice and teaching tools, thequalifications may not be of great help (Moyles, Georgeson &Payler, 2011). It is essential to note that the teaching methods andtools are more effective than the qualifications of teachers. Despitethe need of having teachers with the necessary knowledge, effectivemeans of knowledge dissemination are more important. It is not enoughto have well educated teachers and lack tools and means ofdisseminating knowledge to pupils.
Allin all, Williams review is a good guide that teacher and schools canrelate with to enhance leaning of mathematics. Despite the fact thatit has not touché on some important aspects such as learning toolsand dissemination of information to pupils, it is still relevant andapplicable in the modern schools. Teachers and schools can use it toimprove the learning of mathematics in early years and primary schoolsettings. Nevertheless, this does not mean that it is adequate. Moreresearch needs to b one to overhaul the review in order to improvethe effectiveness of learning mathematics right at an early stage.Tools and a comprehensive curriculum should be implemented bereviewed to enhance learning of mathematics in the early settings.
ImprovingPrimary Mathematics Teaching and Learning.(2012). Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Jorgensen,R., Dole, S., & Wright, R. J. (2004). Teachingmathematics in primary schools.Crows Nest, NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
McAteer,M. (2013). ImprovingPrimary Mathematics Teaching And Learning.Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.
Moyles,J. R., Georgeson, J., & Payler, J. (2011). Beginningteaching – beginning learning: In early years and primary education.Maidenhead, England: McGraw Hill/Open University Press.
Williams,P. T. (2008). Review of Mathematics Teaching in Early Years Settingsand Primary Schools: Interim Report.