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My most cherished correspondence dates back to December 23, 2002: an offer letter from St Anne’s College, Oxford, to pursue a degree in mathematics. The dream subject at the dream university, and the catalyst for my development as mathematician and educator. I sat my exams, earned my grades, gleefully took my place. I didn’t realise it then, but that made me one of the lucky ones.

If history does not repeat itself then surely it rhymes. At around the same time I was preparing for my A Levels and looking ahead to Oxford, the SARS coronavirus emerged. I knew little of it then; truth is, I know little of it now. As a would-be pandemic, it scarcely registered on my radar. I was blissfully unaware of the disruptive force of deadly viruses (though a sensationalised plot in television series 24 kept me up some nights). …

What an EdTech CEO ignores about learning and teaching

Did you hear the one about the EdTech CEO who thinks all learning activities should cater to low attention spans?

It would read as satire, except that Mohit Midha appears deadly serious. The boss of Mangahigh, an online maths platform, claims that video games offer a blueprint for the future of education, citing football simulator FIFA as an example for educators to follow.

Digital maths content is at the heart of my work and FIFA football is at the heart of my play. The article hints at little understanding of either.

(Full disclosure: I work on a product in the same space as Mangahigh. The views expressed in this article belong to me alone.)

Mathematical thinking spans multiple worlds

My work keeps me in touch with maths educators from across the world. Recently, I have noticed a renewed emphasis on problem solving in the classroom. It is refreshing to see problem solving embraced as a core tenet of mathematical thinking, rather than simply an enrichment activity that resides at the edges of the curriculum.

One problem still lingers, however: the insistence that problem solving must be situated within real world contexts. Apparently, it is only in the real world that students can find mathematics useful and relatable. …


Junaid Mubeen

Mathematics. Education. Innovation. Views my own.

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