EDUCATION SECRETARY LAUNCHES FILM “WHY MATHEMATICS?”
A new film to encourage young people to take a greater interest in mathematics was launched at a special preview today (Monday 6 March) by the Secretary of State for Education and Science, Mrs Margaret Thatcher. The film “Why Mathematics?” (32 mins.—colour) is not a teaching film but shows the relevance of mathematics in everyday life and provides material for discussion.
The Department of Education and Science decided to make the film after the Dainton Committee reported that much of the reluctance of many pupils to study mathematics was related to the seeming irrelevance of the subject to their general experience of life and their own preferred career.
Although the film is basically aimed at those 12 to 14 year olds of average ability who have as yet shown little or no enthusiasm in the subject, teachers will find it helpful in presenting mathematics to children as a vital activity. By planned visits to industry and commerce it shows how mathematics plays an important part in almost every aspect of our daily life.
The film, partly shot at Alperton High School, Wembley, shows Mr Ken Fitt, head of mathematics, discussing mathematics in the classroom and taking his pupils to a local waterworks, an insurance company, an aircraft factory and a recording studio. It has been made for the Department by Verity Films through the Central Office of Information.
Thanking organisations for allowing pupils to visit their premises Mrs Thatcher said that she was not suggesting that secondary schools could avail themselves of exactly the same opportunities. But most schools were experimenting these days with outside visits of one sort or another. She felt that with a little imagination there was no reason why mathematics expeditions should not catch on as a popular feature of school life.
Mrs Thatcher also thanked Brent Education Committee and the headmaster, staff and pupils of Alperton High School for the enthusiasm and co-operation in the making of this film.