CCSE Reading Group: What can maths and computing education learn from each other?

DATE: 7th June 2021
TIME: 13:00-14:00
LOCATION: Quintin’s Zoom Room

In this talk, I will propose a purpose for teaching maths and computing in schools, that they should both be seen as toolsets to be used when undertaking modelling and problem solving tasks in the other disciplines, such as science and social science.  Maths, in principle, already is; but computing’s purpose in schools is less clear - is it training to become an engineer, preparation to become a computer scientist, the learning of digital skills for life, or just for interest?  Analysis of a curriculum framework developed for Scottish schools computing, as well as maths and computing education research literature, suggest a common framework for the two disciplines, which is currently realised in different ways for each discipline.  What does this framework tell us about our own subject?  Can we learn from each other?  Can we align the teaching of each of them in a manner which would increase learning effectiveness and enjoyment for the pupils?

In mid-June, I’ve been asked to speak at an event called The Future of Mathematics in Education.  Why?, you might well ask.  Maria, Elizabeth, Noha and I have all been involved with understanding the CS curriculum framework for schools in Scotland that I helped to create from 2013-17.  That has led to a realisation about similarities between maths and computing education, particularly at the school level, and how the two subjects could perhaps learn from each other.  The format they’re looking for is very much like our oft-repeated CCSE model - 20 minutes speaking, 20 minutes break-out discussion, and 10 minutes plenary to close.  So, before I make a total fool of myself in front of them, I’d like to have the opportunity to do the same in front of you all!!  I do hope you’ll come along.

First published: 25 January 2021