Since the publication of Mathematics Counts in 1982 there has been
a growing interest in investigational work in the mathematics classroom.
There have been many books published specifically on investigational
work and the related topic of problem solving. Class texts have been pub1ished claiming to follow the suggestions of Mathematics Counts
including investigationa1 work.
The new examination at 16, the General Certificate of Secondary
Education appears to be moving towards containing work of an
investigationa1 nature. In the first chapter the nature of investigationa1 work is examined.
Distinctions are drawn between problem solving and investigationa1
work. A list of characteristics of investigationa1 work is considered
with a view to clarifying exactly what constitutes investigational work
In the second chapter the role of investigational work is considered
both in the curriculum as a whole and more specifically in the
mathematics curriculum. Particular attention is paid to the aims and
objectives of mathematics education as set out in Mathematics from 5
to 16. The third chapter considers how investigationa1 work can be introduced
into the secondary school both in the short term and over a greater
period of time.
The next chapter examines how an investigationa1 approach is used in
a recently published mathematics scheme, SMP 11 - 16.
In chapter five the various roles that the micro-computer can play in
investigationa1 work is examined by considering a number of computer
Finally the difficulties in assessment presented by investigationa1 work
are compared with methods of assessment currently in practice. Several
forms of assessment are suggested for investigationa1 work undertaken in
timed examinations and also as coursework within the school.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.