Dr Ian Jones

Education Research Fellow
Loughborough University
Reducing the mismatch between intentions and outcomes in GCSE mathematics


"My interest is in the backwash effects that summative assessments have on mathematics classrooms in secondary schools. There have been recent criticisms of GCSE mathematics examinations for being too fragmented, resulting in teaching and learning that tends to focus on memorising and applying isolated facts and procedures. This is far from the stated intentions for GCSE mathematics, and fails to instil a conceptual appreciation in learners.

My research is analysing the processes and constraints of the assessment system that produces current examinations, and identifying the reasons they are mismatched with the intentions for GCSE mathematics. The main two objections to introducing longer and more substantial questions into GCSE examinations is that they cannot be marked reliably, and pupils will not be able to do them. I am currently testing alternative assessment models that can directly address these objections and so lead to better quality mathematics examinations."

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