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Low attainment in mathematics: An analysis of 60 years of policy discourse in England

Hodgen, J; Foster, C; Brown, M; (2022) Low attainment in mathematics: An analysis of 60 years of policy discourse in England. Curriculum Journal , 33 (1) pp. 5-24. 10.1002/curj.128.

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Abstract

The problem of low attainment in mathematics has been an increasingly prominent feature of the policy discourse in England over the last 60 years; however, evidence from comparative studies indicates that little progress has been made in finding a solution. In this paper, we analyse the changing policy discourse of low attainment in mathematics through the main reports and speeches published in England, beginning with the Newsom Report, Half Our Future, in 1963, and continuing to the present day. We chart the evolving perspectives on the nature of ability, expectations, curriculum ideology and frame of reference through the changing language used in these documents, noting tensions and inconsistencies which arise through continuing lack of clarity about definitions and assumptions.

Type: Article
Title: Low attainment in mathematics: An analysis of 60 years of policy discourse in England
DOI: 10.1002/curj.128
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/curj.128
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Educational equality, low attainment, mathematics, policy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131978
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