RME at MMU
The Manchester Metropolitan University team has been working on RME curriculum development for more than ten years, involving the design of RME-based materials, and professional development programmes which support teachers in developing and implementing the key pedagogic strategies which underpin successful RME. The team has developed and trialled materials at a number of levels:
- 2004-2007: MMU led a 3 year pilot of ‘Mathematics in Context’ (MiC) materials (a US-developed RME-based curriculum) at Key Stage 3 involving 12 schools (Years 7/8) and a limited national trial of Years 7/8/9, targeting low attaining students. The project was funded by the Gatsby Foundation. Analysis of students’ work suggested that RME encouraged development of informal strategies which facilitated problem solving in some situations (Dickinson & Eade, 2005). Assessment data from 100 (50 intervention and 50 control) Year 7 students were independently analysed by Durham University. Intervention students were not only more likely to solve a problem correctly, but showed considerably more understanding through their ability to explain their strategy (Searle & Barmby, 2012).
- 2007-2010: With Stella Dudzik from Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI), the team wrote ‘Making Sense of Maths’, published by Hodder, and trialled the materials for Key Stage 4 Foundation level pupils. The project was jointly funded by the Gatsby Foundation, the Esmée Fairbairn Trust, and Mathematics in Education and Industry. Teachers reported positively on the RME approach in terms of student engagement and understanding and application of models (see Dickinson & Hough, 2012 and Searle & Barmby, 2012).
- 2012-2017: A pilot of RME-based materials in post-16 GCSE resit classes with one teacher and two groups of students showed strong improvement from pre- to post- test, sustained at delayed-test alongside improved ability to explain/justify solutions. The team followed this up with an intervention study funded by the Nuffield Foundation. They delivered 2 RME-based modules (Number, 12 hours teaching and Algebra, 9 hours) to 4 intervention classes and 4 control classes in 3 sites. The project was independently evaluated by Sheffield Hallam University. Read more about the project here.