WitCH 85: The Continuation of MAV’s Trials

With Methods exams next week, this one’s kinda important.

We try to avoid critiquing, or even being in the same room as, third party VCE practice exams. They are invariably clunky and weird, with plenty to criticise, but they matter infinitely less than the yearly screw-ups of the official exams.

Even MAV trial exams we do our best to ignore. Yes, the MAV is (too) closely aligned with the VCAA (with a number of people in conflicted, dual roles), and so MAV has a significantly greater professional and moral obligation to maintain high standards. But still, third party is third party, and we try our best to just ignore MAV’s nonsense. On occasion, however, MAV’s nonsense matters sufficiently, or is simply sufficiently annoying, to warrant a whack.

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Secret 2022 Further Business: Exam 1 Discussion

Further Mathematics is not our thing, but it seemed possible that some frequent visitors may want to discuss today’s exam. (We haven’t seen the exam, and don’t plan to seek it out unless something interesting is flagged.)

Have fun.

UDPATE (31/10/22): Exam 2 discussion is here.

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Slate Star Codex: The Lottery of Fascinations

We wrote once before about Scott Alexander’s blog Slate Star Codex (now Astral Codex Ten), on a great post he wrote about psychological testing. We’ve now run into another great SSC post, The Lottery of Fascinations, on Alexander’s lack of interest in mathematics. Here is part of the introduction:

Suppose I were to come out tomorrow as gay. Continue reading “Slate Star Codex: The Lottery of Fascinations”

Ben Jensen Damns ACARA with Faint Damning

Ben Jensen is a think tank guy. Ben is CEO or King or whatever of something called Learning First. We’re not a fan of think tanks, but Ben appears to be pretty smart. Ben writes clearly and for a purpose, and demonstrably Ben is playing for The Good Team. He can play better.

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RatS 25: Taibbi – On the Loony Van Gogh Protests

We try to avoid recommending paywalled stuff, but the Van Gogh nonsense, and the response, is just so depressing, and Taibbi’s critique is so good, we decided to make an exception. Of course, regular readers will be used to our badgering them to read Taibbi, and the subscription is worth it. But readers can also avoid paying by “trying 7 days for free”, and then cancelling immediately (so you don’t then forget and get billed).

A couple paragraphs are below. Read all of Taibbi’s post, and then scream.

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Notch 7: Ed Barbeau on Gifted Education

A very pleasing irony of writing this thoughtless and classless, “We’re all doomed” blog is that it has resulted in my being introduced to thoughtful and classy heroes like Tony Gardiner, mathematical stars who have been working tirelessly for decades that we not be doomed. The most recent introduction is to Edward Barbeau, a star of Canadian mathematics education. Tony Guttmann, AKA Mr. Very Big, alerted me to a long comment Ed contributed to a maths-ed discussion, on gifted education. Ed has kindly permitted me to reproduce his great comment here. Continue reading “Notch 7: Ed Barbeau on Gifted Education”