AlphaPlus Consultancy prepared for DfE The independent evaluation of the pilot of the linked pair of GCSEs in mathematics (MLP): Second Interim Report. This is the third of seven formative evaluation reports on the pilot of the linked pair of GCSEs in mathematics (MLP). A final summative evaluation report will be presented in December 2013.
A quote from p.6:
Problem solving and functionality are central to mathematics at Key Stage 4 (KS4). The previous reports on the MLP [Mathematics Linked Pairs] have identified the lack of a shared understanding by centres of what problem solving and functionality mean in relation to mathematics teaching and learning generally and in particular in relation to the revised assessment objectives (AOs) for GCSE mathematics. The fact that stakeholders have no common definition for these terms across the range of instances and contexts in which they use them, such as the two MLP qualifications, is problematic. An absence of clear definitions might lead stakeholders to fail to recognise and understand the different types of problem solving which the structure of the MLP promotes. The two previous MLP reports indicated that both effective teaching and assessment of problem solving and functionality are still in relatively early stages of their development. This is not an issue specific to the MLP: centres offering the MLP together with the single GCSE, awarding organisations and wider stakeholders all suggest that the issues regarding the teaching of problem solving are also evident for the single GCSE in mathematics.