School of Mathematics Lecturer to Feature on BBC Programme The One Show
24 January 2017
Dr Matthew Lettington of the School of Mathematics will appear on tonight’s episode of The One Show on BBC1 at 7pm (Tuesday, 24th January) to discuss the multitude of mistakes that were found in GCSE exam revision workbooks by a team of lecturers and PhD students at Cardiff University.
The exam revision workbooks are relied upon by pupils preparing for their GCSEs and have been withdrawn after research by the BBC programme “The One Show” found they contained scores of mistakes.
It was uncovered that one of the workbooks, Mastering Mathematics for WJEC GCSE Practice Book: Higher, contained ninety errors meaning 3 in every 50 questions was inaccurate, misleading or a wholly wrong answer was supplied.
The One Show had commissioned Cardiff University researchers to look through work books for maths higher GCSEs and Scottish Nationals for five of the UK’s examining boards and the team found mistakes in all five books.
Dr Matthew Lettington, who oversaw the research, said: “The types of error encountered in such textbooks can vary hugely, from a simple typographical error in the question posed or answer given, to a major logical inconsistency in either the question or the answer; indeed it may be the case that there appears to be little or no connection between the question and the corresponding answer,”
Publishers Hodder Education have apologised for the mistakes and are now reprinting the book and contacting schools and retailers to have current editions destroyed.
Lis Tribe, Hodder Education’s group managing director, said: “We are human. We do our best. We have made a mistake. Where our process fell down, which is a real concern to me and to my team, is that there wasn’t the final quality check that should have taken place. We simply missed a stage because of the pressure of getting the book out on time.
A spokesperson for the Welsh exam board WJEC said: “We have worked with Hodder to produce endorsed material. However, we have not endorsed the revision guide in question. As it has not been subjected to our endorsement process, we are not responsible for its content and cannot comment on it. Of course, if we are made aware of any errors in non-endorsed publications, we make every effort to ensure that the relevant publisher is informed.”
Dr Lettington’s appearance can be seen on tonight’s (Tuesday, 24th January) episode of The One Show in a feature called It Doesn’t Add Up on BBC1 at 7pm