Equations and inequalities: making mathematics accessible to all
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Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD argues that more than ever pupils need to engage with mathematical concepts, think quantitatively and analytically, and communicate using mathematics. These skills are central to young people’s ability to tackle problems that arise at work and in life beyond the classroom. However, many pupils are not familiar with basic mathematics concepts and only practice routine tasks in the classroom that do not improve their ability to think quantitatively and solve real-life, complex problems.

This report, based on results from PISA 2012, shows that one way forward is to ensure that pupils spend more time learning core mathematics concepts and solving challenging mathematics tasks. It also suggests that differences in pupils’ familiarity with mathematical concepts explain a substantial amount of the performance disparities in PISA between socio-economically advantaged and disadvantaged pupils.

It concludes that widening access to mathematics content can raise average levels of achievement and, at the same time, reduce inequalities in education and in society at large.

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Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Published by:
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Date of publication:
June 2016

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Focusing on the importance of mathematics literacy and practising maths tasks at school, and its impact on the equity agenda, this report will make for useful reading for STEM teachers and policy makers. 


Record ID:
R283 / 389
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