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Academic Publications by Professor Ruth Merttens

Athene Reiss By Athene Reiss

Professor Ruth Merttens has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, Teacher Magazine, Manor Magazine and a variety of academic journals on a range of issues in English primary education.

You can read a selection of her articles below.

  • Comments on English Primary Education published in the lead up to the 2017 General Election. The last five years of government policy have turned English primary education on its head. Parents, and everyone who cares about education in England, need to understand exactly what we have to lose if this continues, and just how dire the situation is. Plus: 5 cost-free ideas for changes to rescue English primary education.

    Download 'Is this what we want?' →
  • This 2016 paper discusses practical reasoning and problem solving in primary maths teaching. The 21st century demands young adults with flexible thinking and practical reasoning. They need a maths curriculum and pedagogy focussed on transferrable skills rather than outmoded, rote-learned algorithms.

    Download 'Practical reasoning on primary mathematics' →
  • Report on Hamilton Secondary Maths Research Project, 2016. JK Rowling entitled her Harvard lecture (2008) ‘The fringe benefits of failure and the importance of imagination’, and the title of this paper borrows the first part, but could just as well have borrowed both. Here, Professor Ruth Merttens and Dr Naomi Norman, in one sense, tell a story of failure. But they also describe how imagination can help us learn from the results of our research into the effectiveness of our 2015 Hamilton Secondary Numeracy Project.

    Download 'The fringe benefits of failure' →
  • A 2016 paper written to critique the 'Shanghai Maths Policy' espoused by the DfE. In relation to mathematics, it is essential that primary children are not simply taught to follow a rote-learned procedure - they must choose the most efficient strategies and use logical reasoning to solve problems. Without these skills they are simply unable to flourish at secondary level and beyond.

    Download 'Decision makers or followers?' →
  • A 2015 opinion piece. The UK, unlike many of the Pacific Rim or far east jurisdictions, is an open democracy which celebrates difference. Educating children to participate in a liberal democracy entails the development of decision-making skills and flexible thinking, rather than rote-learned procedures and compliance.

    Download 'In defence of diversity' →