A few weeks ago, the Sydney Morning Herald published a report by Lisa Visentin and Anna Prytz, with the pithy title,
Maths experts reaffirm support for curriculum changes as leading group sounds alarm
The “leading group” refers to AMSI, which indeed sounded the alarm, calling for a halt of ACARA’s review of the mathematics curriculum. The claim, however, that “maths experts” reaffirmed support for the curriculum changes is, in a word, bullshit. Obviously AMSI did not do so, but also, to a reasonable approximation, no one did.
Continue reading “Maths Experts Do Not Reaffirm Support For Curriculum Changes”
The following are Year 10 Number-Algebra content-elaborations in the current curriculum:
Apply the four operations to simple algebraic fractions with numerical denominators
expressing the sum and difference of algebraic fractions with a common denominator
using the index laws to simplify products and quotients of algebraic fractions
Solve linear equations involving simple algebraic fractions
solving a wide range of linear equations, including those involving one or two simple algebraic fractions, and checking solutions by substitution
representing word problems, including those involving fractions, as equations and solving them to answer the question
And what does the draft curriculum do with these?
Not essential for all students to learn in Year 10.
God only knows how one develops fluency with expressions that cease to exist.
Jen Deyzel is a retired primary school teacher, a “septuagenarian” (now octogenarian) with decades of experience. She came up in conversation with a parent, whose children are tutored by Jen. In 2017, Jen wrote an essay on the decline of Australia’s educational standards. Jen has kindly permitted us to reproduce her essay, below (and in PDF form here).
The Great Decline:
Why Australia’s Education Standards are Plummeting Fast
Continue reading “RatS 14: Jen Deyzel on The Great Decline”
I know it’s hard right now. The future is uncertain, and you’re doing it tough. You’re going it alone, and you’re not sure how it’s going. So, here’s a gentle word of advice from a Melburnian who’s been through it: go the fuck home and shut the fuck up.
Continue reading “A Gentle Word to Sydneysiders During Your Troubled Times”
Each Year’s content in the draft curriculum begins with a Level description, and each of the thirteen Level description begins with the exact same sentences:
The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics focuses on the development of a deep knowledge and conceptual understanding of mathematical structures and fluency with procedures. Students learn through the approaches for working mathematically, including modelling, investigation, experimentation and problem solving, all underpinned by the different forms of mathematical reasoning. [emphasis added]
Yep, “an equal focus on building fluency“, no doubt about it.
Definitely not Sydeney.
OK, in a futile attempt to unPonzi our blogging scheme, we’re closing off our four competitions.* The winners are indicated below, and any winner who has not died of old age should email us to receive their prize, a signed copy of the best-selling** A Dingo Ate My Math Book.***
Continue reading “And the Winner Is …”
Continuing to try to rid ourselves of ACARA irritants, the following are the “calculator” elaborations from Year 1 – Year 6 Number and Algebra (sic):
using the constant function on a calculator to add ten to single digit numbers, recording the numbers to make, show and explore the patterns in a 0 – 100 chart
with the use of a calculator, exploring skip-counting sequences that start from different numbers, discussing patterns
modeling skip counting sequences using the constant function on a calculator, while saying, reading and recording the numbers as they go
Continue reading “ACARA CRASH 15: Digital Insertion”
That got your attention, didn’t it?
And, having tabloided you here, we confess we’re not gonna defend Craig Kelly. The man is a dangerous idiot. We will, however, defend the right of Kelly and his dangerously idiotic comrades to spout their dangerous idiocy. It pains us to write this, coming straight after anti-lockdown and anti-vax neanderthals flooded Australia’s, and the World’s, streets. Fuck these morons. But, the idea that censorship is an effective way to counter such group moronicity is insane.
Continue reading “RatS 13: In Defense of Craig Kelly”
And, perhaps, a decent graphic designer.
We’ve whacked Essential Assessment on a previous occasion. Our daughter, who is in Year 4, did some of this nonsense on the week-end. (Our general policy is to let our daughter’s school do its thing, give or take a staged frown and raised eyebrow, and the occasional nudge of the well-meaning and intelligent Principal, but to forbid techno-junk at home. But, with home schooling, and our daughter’s understandable desire to please the beleaguered teacher, we let it go this time.)
Continue reading “PoSWW 18: Inestimable Worth”