The New Australian Mathematics Curriculum

There must be a better way of doing this. But, we’re a blogger of very little brain, so we’ll do it this way.

Having slogged our way through the new Mathematics Curriculum, we’ve read enough to realise that we’ll be writing plenty more. It seems worthwhile, there, having a dedicated meta-post for these posts. This is it. (It is and will remain a subset of The ACARA Page.)

Paralleling the ACARA Crash series on the draft curriculum, the majority of the upcoming posts will be in the just-created New Cur series. As indicated below, we’ve slightly retitled three posts to be the beginning of this series.

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The Awfullest Australian Curriculum Probability Lines

We made it. We have read ACARA’s entire idiotic mathematics curriculum, and we’ve completed the Complete Awfullest Works. Meaning, soon, we’ll be on to Stage Two. But first, following on from Number and Algebra and Measurement and Space and Statistics, we have the post for the awfullest Probability lines.

The Probability stream is, of course, awful, but the awfulness is notably different in character from that of the Statistics. Whereas the statistics is a homogeneous gruel of “data”, with the only mathematical substance being the tiny, tasteless raisins of “median” and its kin, the probability stream has just enough substance to be consistently, solidly stupid.

Note that the Probability stream only begins in Year 3 since, unlike Algebra, the kids need to know a little before considering such concepts.

The Summary Execution of Initial Teachers

This one is way, way old. But still, we felt something we should write something.

Early last year, Alan Tudge – remember him? – launched a review into Initial Teacher Education.We also wrote about the review, here. The final report was released early year, as we announced here. We had no time then to carefully read the Report, although some commenters had things to say. We’ve since read the report pretty thoroughly. It was thrilling, a real page-turner. Continue reading “The Summary Execution of Initial Teachers”

A Quick Game

This one has no deeper meaning, or at least not much. On a recent excursion with the little monsters to Electronic Noise Hell, we noticed the sign above, which didn’t seem quite right. Teachers may enjoy having their students get puzzled and/or unpuzzled. (The very friendly service girl was determinedly not puzzled, except by our puzzlement.)

QAA’s Other Problems

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education is a UK body, “an independent charity working to benefit students and higher education”. QAA proposes and checks upon standards for higher education, with some degree of authority. In September, QAA released for public consultation its revised Subject Benchmark Statement on Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research (MSOR). Compared to the 2019 Statement, the 2022 draft Statement has been most noted for the introduction of a “cross-cutting theme” of “equality, diversity, accessibility and inclusion”, as well as themes of “sustainable development” and “employability, entrepreneurship and enterprise education”. The draft is bad. Continue reading “QAA’s Other Problems”

Lividing the Dream

This one is a little old now, and it’s about a Who Cares blog post by Who Cares people. Nonetheless, it has gotten up our nose and we’re going to sneeze the damn thing out. Stand back.

Last month, the Grattan Institute released another of their education reports: Ending the Lesson Lottery. It was no big deal, saying in ninety pages what would have been better said in two, and the EduTsars are not listening anyway. Still a quick read suggested the report was largely sensible, and any plus in this world is a plus.  Continue reading “Lividing the Dream”

All of These Things Are Not Like the Other

NSW education has just launched a series of books for parents of little kids, “stories of inventors, innovators and trailblazers”. In principle, the idea seems optimistic and pushy, but sure, give it a go if you want. In practice, the five “mavericks” so far chosen are, um, something: Grace Hopper,* Katherine Johnson, Sophie Germain,** Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. Continue reading “All of These Things Are Not Like the Other”

The Joy of Gambling

A couple weeks ago, the Federal Government announced new regulations for gambling advertising: no longer will people be encouraged to “Gamble responsibly”; now they will be informed that “Chances are you are about to lose”. They will be encouraged to reflect on “What’s gambling really costing you?” and to “Imagine what you could be buying instead”, and so on. Which will fix everything. Continue reading “The Joy of Gambling”

The Awfullest Australian Curriculum Statistics Lines

This one is different. It is ostensibly a year-by-year selection of the worst statistics lines chosen from the Complete Awfullest Works. Unlike for Number and Algebra and Measurement and Space, however, this is effectively impossible. Nothing similar, or anything, properly works for Statistics. Even the lines chosen for the Complete Awfullest Works were chosen largely at random.

The Statistics stream is so bad, so vague and thin and aimless and repetitive, the only proper way to appreciate the badness is to read the entire thing. There is likely just one person in Australia stubborn enough to do that: Merchant-Ivory has its Joe Queenan, and ACARA has its Marty. You’re welcome.