A few years ago there was an exhibition from England held in Moscow.

The exhibition was sent from England to give a simple and comprehensive picture of the state of mathematics teaching in England. The English teachers say that they have recently discovered that their schools are not producing enough students with the mathematical competence required for work in industry and education. That is why an unusual amount of attention is paid to the content of mathematics syllabuses and the ways to teach it. Two main trends will certainly have an influence during the next few years. The first is to modernize the syllabuses for those secondary school pupils who will be the mathematicians and technicians of the future, so they will study the basic ideas of mathematics. The second is to learn more children's learning.

A few signs of those trends could be found in that exhibition, but there were no definite results to show. The first half of this century has seen the two main attitudes to school mathematics established in the nineteenth century, on the one hand, the desire to give the great majority of children a needed level of technical competence in arithmetic, and, on the other, the attempt to teach mathematics for its own sake that is for its cultural and intellectual value.

It must be remembered that every school in England has complete freedom to write its own syllabus, choose its own textbooks, and adopt any teaching methods it likes.

It is fair to say that, although many teachers in England are very dissatisfied with the results of their leaching, there has been no general decline in the standard of knowledge of their pupils. But the teachers hope that some improvement will take place in the next few decades, making mathematics a significant and enjoyable subject for many more of their pupils.

basic ideas основные положения

comprehensive зд. исчерпывающий

it must be remembered следует помнить

a needed level необходимый уровень

not producing enough students with the mathematical competence зд. не выпускают достаточного количества учащихся, компетентных в математике (обладающих достаточными знаниями по математике)

on the one hand с одной стороны

state зд, положение

syllabus программа (курса)

teach mathematics for its own sake зд. преподавать математику ради математики