About

Welcome to Seb’s Maths & Education blog !

I am a Maths teacher and free-lance data scientist, based in the North of England.

After reading Maths at university and graduating in Statistics, I started Maths tutoring in 1988 and teaching in 1994. I have since then taught in diverse contexts, including primary schools, gypsy camps, business schools and universities.

Although I cannot think of a period in my life when I was not teaching at all, I have also worked in business (customer satisfaction research director, strategy consultant, data analyst, planning statistician, etc.) in various countries for the past 30 years. This mix of academic and non-academic experience has greatly influenced my views on teaching and education.

I hope this blog will be inspiring to Maths teachers, especially young teachers who get all sorts of advice from different (and often conflicting) sources. This blog might provide them with a few shortcuts and priorities. I hope it will also prevent them from being lured by the latest fads — and old lies? — of the education world (as we all are at some stage in our career), and help them find their own truly modern Maths teaching style.

This blog is structured in 4 categories:

  • Maths teaching: this is, as it were, a manual (in progress) for young Maths teachers, with plenty of advice on how to design, structure and plan effective lessons;
  • Problem-solving: this focuses on problem-solving as a discipline with specific skills and includes my own teacher’s notes on past UKMT papers; useful for teachers who wish to understand more about the educational value of problem-solving in Maths;
  • The healing dimension of Maths: no doubt less common, but potentially the future of Maths teaching for the 21st century; [Note: this section might exist one day… if I ever have the time…]
  • Schools and education: this category addresses wider education issues, with a special focus on behaviour management and its link with the current shortage of teachers in specialist subjects such as Maths. [Note: this section was published in 2015 and featured the results of a qualitative study which prefigured the teacher recruitment crisis that developed from 2016 onwards.]
  • Education: a couple of posts on the Covid-19 crisis and how it might impact British universities.

I’ll be happy to hear from you, so do not hesitate to leave me some feedback (seb@mathsandeducation.com).

This blog is dedicated to the memory of my uncle, who was himself an extraordinary teacher. Although a dedicated atheist and socialist, he was one of the only men I have ever met who behaved throughout his life like a truly religious man should, such was his respect and kindness for all human beings. When he passed away, the line of students who came to pay their respects stretched far beyond the gate of the cemetery and onto the road. A good reminder for all of us teachers: students may not always listen to what we say, but they listen to what we are.