How should we improve this blog? Yeah, yeah, by deleting it. We know. But, other than that and similar ACARAesque thoughts, what would make the blog more interesting, and more functional? We have some ideas, and a few implementations are on the shortlist (so, don’t hold your breath). And, we’re always open to suggestions.
One thought/request we received was to notify followers when a post is updated, particularly since updates sometimes come months (or years) later. We looked, and it seems possible but not so easy (at least for a Luddite) to implement. So, instead we’ve decided to create this Update Post.
The idea is, whenever we make a significant update, to a WitCH or whatnot, we’ll record it here, with an indication of the update and a link to the original post. Then, at least there is just the one spot to check. The first such update is below.
Please tell us in the comments why this is a stupid idea, and let us know your superior ideas.
(22/09/21) The posts on the 2021 NHT exams, here and here, have been updated, with minor comments on the examination reports. There are also brief updates to the associated WitCHes, here and here.
The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute has finalised and released its submission for ACARA’s consultation on their draft mathematics curriculum. For eccentric reasons, we haven’t properly read AMSI’s submission. (Seriously.) We understand that it is a good and strong statement. The second and key paragraph is
In early April, AMSI, together with some of its key partners, released a joint statement on the proposed new curriculum “Why maths must change”. AMSI initially endorsed the revised draft curriculum in our joint statement. However, there is now an opportunity to comment on the draft curriculum, and we have revised our position, following extensive consultation with representatives of our member organisations. Many members expressed concern, and indeed alarm, at numerous proposed changes. AMSI and its members believe that the new curriculum should be delayed, and we ask ACARA to halt the current review process.
Honestly, it wasn’t our intention to write three hundred posts on ACARA and their appalling draft mathematics curriculum. But, we did. Given that we did, it seems worthwhile having a pinned metapost, so that anybody who wants to can find their way through the jungle. (There’s probably a better way to do this, with a separate blog page or whatever, but we can’t be bothered figuring that out right now.)
So, here we are: the complete works, roughly in reverse chronological order, and laid out as clearly as we can think to do it. It includes older posts and articles, on the current mathematics curriculum (which also sucks) and NAPLAN (which also also sucks).
Below, we work through the ACARA’s Terms of Reference, section by section, highlighting critical aspects to the review of the mathematics curriculum. We’ll indicate how the ToR gave, and continues to give, ACARA license to consciously and to thoroughly ignore mathematicians, as well as education ministers. We shall also indicate how, nonetheless, ACARA have violated their own Terms of Reference whenever and however it suited ACARA’s real agenda.
While we’re working away on ACARA, here’s another post to keep readers occupied. Below are released “benchmark” test items from TIMSS 2019. (Further details about the benchmarking can be found in the full report (pp 35-59, 172-198).
We already had plans to start a new series of posts: Because it’s Funny. This was to begin with a different comedian, but Norm McDonald‘s dying kind of forced our hand. The characterisation “his cynicism was just a byproduct of his idealism” makes him our kind of guy. Below is a clip from Saturday Night Live. Continue reading “BiFF: Norm Macdonald and Pie Charts”→
We’ve sat on this one for a long time. We weren’t sure what to make of it, and we’re still not sure. It seems appropriate to write on it, however, and inappropriate not to.
First, some background. Back in June-July, there was some minor but notable social media activity in the maths ed world; there was encouragement for people to make submissions on the draft curriculum to ACARA before the cut-off date. That’s fine, of course, even if they had been advocating to submit in support of (or in opposition to) the draft, which did not appear to be the case. It felt, however, that there was something coordinated about it all, which if true is still fine, but telling. As well, some such encouragement came from people tied to ACARA, which felt significantly closer to the line.
OK, hands up who thought there was ever gonna be a second NotCH?
We’re not really a puzzle sort of guy, and base ten puzzles in particular tend to bore us. So, this is unlikely to be a regular thing. Still, the following question came up in some non-puzzle reading (upon which we plan to post very soon), and it struck us as interesting, for a couple reasons. And, a request to you smart loudmouths who comment frequently:
Please don’t give the game away until non-regular commenters have had time to think and/or comment.
Start by writing out a few terms of the standard doubling sequence:
This is a brief post, intended as a place for discussion of the 2021 NHT Specialist Mathematics exams, here and here. See also the accompanying 2021 NHT Methods exams post, here.
We’ve made a few remarks, below, on specific questions, and see this WitCH, but we haven’t gone carefully through the exams. We’ll update with further remarks if and when commenters raise substantive issues with the questions, or either exam as a whole.
The exam reports are out, here and here. We haven’t looked and don’t intend to look, except for Q10 on Exam 1. The suggested solution is, well, rooted. See here.