Article

Estimation in the primary mathematics curricula of the United Kingdom: Ambivalent expectations of an essential competence

Citation

Andrews P, Xenofontos C & Sayers J (2021) Estimation in the primary mathematics curricula of the United Kingdom: Ambivalent expectations of an essential competence. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739x.2020.1868591

Abstract
In this paper, we examine the national curricula for primary mathematics for each of the four constituent nations of the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) for the estimation-related opportunities they offer children. Framed against four conceptually and procedurally different forms of estimation (computational, measurement, quantity and number line), the analyses indicate that computational estimation and measurement estimation were addressed in all four curricula, albeit from a skills-acquisition perspective, with only the Scottish offering any meaningful justification for their inclusion. The process of rounding, absent in the Northern Ireland curriculum, was presented as an explicit learning objective in the English, Scottish and Welsh curricula, although it was only the Scottish that made explicit the connections between rounding and computational estimation. In all curricula, both quantity estimation and number line estimation were effectively absent, as was any explicit acknowledgement that learning to estimate, irrespective of its form, has a developmental role in the learning of other mathematical topics.

Keywords
Computational estimation; measurement estimation; number line estimation; quantity estimation; England; Northern Ireland; Scotland; Wales; primary mathematics curriculum

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology

StatusIn Press
FundersSwedish Research Council
Publication date online15/01/2021
Date accepted by journal15/01/2021
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/32239
ISSN0020-739X
eISSN1464-5211