# Analysis of the Mastering Mathematics Approach’s Implementation Into Practice

The Mathematics Mastery program is defined as a specific whole-school approach to this subject’s teaching that was designed to raise the pupils’ attainment. It was primarily elaborated in Asian countries based on their education policies (Merttens, 2015).

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The understanding of mathematics may be regarded by a substantial number of people as problematic (Cooke, 2007). The fundamental goal of the mastery approach is to provide the children’s “conceptual understanding of key mathematical concepts” as it implicates the in-depth examination of topics and emphasized the significance of mathematical thinking (Education Endowment Foundation, 2015, p. 6). I have investigated the process of teaching within the concept of mastery through the lesson of mathematics for a group of pupils and evaluated the results of one child.

During the lesson of mathematics conducted for children, they learn to use the inversing and chunking method, analyze derived facts and practice mental calculation. In general, mathematic development includes sorting, counting, seeking patterns, matching, and making connections (Haylock & Cockburn, 2012). First of all, it is impossible not to mention the significant positive differences in the mastery approach in comparison with a traditional practice that is characterized by the teacher’s explanation and questioning and the pupils’ feedback. The Mathematics Mastery Programme is characterized by creativity and a high level of cooperation between children (Pound & Lee, 2011).

Pupils could share their ideas with peers while they were discussed strategies to solve mathematical issues. Visual presentations to illustrate methods positively influenced the children’s understanding as well (Worthington & Carruthers, 2011). As a teacher, I encouraged children to understand the main concepts of mathematic processes by themselves, explain to classmates and discuss them all together.

However, from the results of this lesson, I realized that the statement concerning the pupils’ non-differentiation in the mastery approach is a myth. The same work for individuals or groups is supposed to be beneficial for equal achievements (NAMA, 2015). However, the same results may be observed among pupils with the same level of attainment as multiple reasons have a substantial impact on the children’s understanding of mathematics. For instance, in my group, equal results were not achieved as one pupil had missed a school year and another child experienced a lack of concentration. In general, the results of understanding after the lesson were predominantly individual.

I evaluated the results of AB, a six-year-old girl, who achieved the best results during the lesson. She understood the short division technique, the mental strategies, and algorithms of derived facts, and the use of the inverse method to check the accuracy of her results. Moreover, she was attentive and used her problem-solving skills to complete tasks. However, from a personal perspective, the girl did not achieve a deep level of understanding of mathematics processes, and her lack of confidence demonstrated this issue. AB understood the majority of methods and algorithms to solve mathematics issues, however, mastery implicates the understanding of what strategy should be used.

Nevertheless, I believe that the Mastery program is immeasurably beneficial for the children’s attainment in mathematics. However, I think that this practice requires more than one lesson to observe reliable results, and AB will understand the subject much better after some time. Moreover, I think that teachers need special education to be aware of the main principles and key concepts of the program for competent and reliable performance.

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## Reference List

Cooke, H. (2007) Mathematics for primary and early years: developing subject knowledge. London: Sage.

Education Endowment Foundation (2015) Mathematics mastery: primary evaluation report. London: Institute of Education.

Haylock, D. and Cockburn, A. (2012) Understanding mathematics for young children: a guide for foundation stage & lower primary teachers. London: Sage.

Merttens, R. (2015) ‘Why are we blindly following the Chinese approach to teaching maths?’, The Guardian. Web.

NAMA (2015) Five myths of mastery in mathematics. Web.

Pound, L. and Lee, T. (2011) Teaching mathematics creatively. Oxon: Routledge.

Worthington, M. and Carruthers, E. (2011) Children’s mathematics. London: Sage.

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