ACARA’s Terms of Reference

Does anybody ever properly read Terms of Reference? Probably not, and in the case of ACARA’s Terms of Reference for their curriculum review, this was a fatal error. The Education Minsters who approved ACARA’s ToR screwed up. Royally.

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.

Continue reading “ACARA’s Terms of Reference”

The Singapore Primary Mathematics Syllabus

We’re working on a long ACARA post, which, hopefully, will be up in a day or so. In the meantime and as a bit of background for the coming post, readers may wish to have a wander through the Singaporean Primary Mathematics Syllabus.* (The syllabus begins with explanatory chapters, and the content description begins on page 34.) Continue reading “The Singapore Primary Mathematics Syllabus”

BiFF: Norm Macdonald and Pie Charts

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”

The Update Post

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.

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AMT and ACARA

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.

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NotCH 2: A Digits Puzzle

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:

1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc.  Continue reading “NotCH 2: A Digits Puzzle”