Managing the curriculum content
The current Numeracy Centre programme spells out how teachers should present the mathematics and what teaching methods they should adopt. I have some sympathy with this approach. As I argue elsewhere (Brown and Merttens, in Merttens, 1997, pp. 77-98), there are many schools where very little ‘active teaching’ takes place and children receive very little direct input from teachers. There is no doubt that this is unsatisfactory and leaves children poorly equipped mathematically. The prescriptive nature of the numeracy programme is an attempt to give clear guidance to those teachers who have had little experience of ‘active teaching’ either from the time when they themselves were at school or during their teaching career.