This new study supports Key Stage 3 teachers to use RME materials to enable students to engage with mathematics, whatever their current attainment level. It is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and led by a Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) team with several years’ experience of designing and developing RME materials in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.
We have recruited 120 schools across England to take part in this two year, KS3, trial. The aim is to evaluate how successful this approach is in improving attainment by comparing RME and ‘business as usual’ teaching. The two-year trial begins in October 2018.
What is Realistic Maths Education?
Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) was originally developed in the Netherlands, and is widely used there. In RME, mathematics is developed through contexts which are used not only to illustrate the applicability and relevance of mathematics in real world situations, but also as a source for the learning of mathematics itself. Contexts can be taken from the real world, from fiction or from an area of mathematics that students are already familiar with - the important thing is that students are able to imagine and engage with them.
Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) offers a framework for teaching which:
develops students’ sense-making strategies and problem-solving abilities;
raises student attainment and engagement;
supports the development of a deep conceptual understanding.
What is involved for teachers taking part?
Two teachers from each intervention school will receive specialist training in RME and will be supported to develop their practice over the two years of the trial.
Free training in one of six regional venues (eight days in total).
Materials and scheme of work.
Full access to free online resources.
By the end of the programme teachers will be confidently using RME materials and will be able to extend the approach to their overall mathematics teaching.
What is the benefit?
This is an opportunity to raise student attainment, engagement, and understanding in mathematics. The evaluation includes the use of the GL Assessment Progress Test in Maths at the end of Year 8 for the whole year group, regardless of whether students are involved in RME classes or not. Schools will be provided with a full report of the test outcomes.
Half of the schools in the study will act as a ‘comparison’ control group for the purposes of the evaluation. Once the evaluation is complete, these schools will have full access to the RME materials used in the trial.