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Variation theory through the eyes of one secondary maths teacher

A secondary maths teacher explains how she’s incorporating elements of ‘variation theory’ into all aspects of her teaching

  • Published: 09/04/2019

In a Teacher Voice feature recently published on our website, a secondary maths teacher explains how she’s incorporating elements of ‘variation theory’ into all aspects of her teaching, from the moment she conceives a lesson to the moment the students walk out of the door when the bell rings.

Jayne Webster, a Mastery Specialist and Maths Hub Lead at Enigma Maths Hub, says that for her, variation theory is about constantly trying to get students to notice what’s the same and what’s different in examples and questions.

Jayne recounts how her conversion to this approach to maths teaching started when she read the book Necessary Conditions of Learning by Ference Marton. She was on a plane, taking her to Shanghai at the start of the Maths Hubs England–China teacher exchange in 2015.

At the heart of the feature is a classroom activity Jayne devised to try to deepen students’ understanding of ratio. Why not try it out in your classroom?

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