Procedural fluency and problem solving: friends or enemies?

8 June 2021

The Cambridge joint MA ATM branch is delighted to welcome Colin Foster to our summer event.

Procedural fluency and problem solving: friends or enemies?

In this workshop, we will try some mathematical problems and think about the role that fluency with particular procedures might play in solving them. Is knowing a relevant procedure, and being able to perform it fluently, the key to solving mathematical problems? Or does it just ruin the problem for us by reducing it to something routine? If procedural fluency is important, then what else is also important? And how might we prepare students to be powerful problem solvers, without simply spoiling the problem by showing them how to do it?

Colin Foster is a Reader in Mathematics Education in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University. His research interests focus on the learning and teaching of mathematics in ways that support students’ conceptual understanding. He is particularly interested in the design and use of rich tasks in the mathematics classroom, and in finding ways to enable students to develop the necessary fluency in mathematical processes to support them in solving mathematical problems.

Date: Tuesday 8th June

Time: 4:30-6:00pm

Contact Lynne McClure ( for Zoom details