## The Cost of VCAA’s Dissembling

Last month we posted a PoSWW on a 2022 Queensland MCQ exam question, for which the accompanying exam report indicated the wrong answer. It is depressingly unclear why QCAA had not been previously alerted to the error, but a couple weeks after our PoSWW appeared, QCAA updated their exam report: in the amended report QCAA indicates the correct answer (p 27), and they also indicate in a footnote that the correction had been made.

For QCAA to have done this was professional and classy. It was also important. The uncorrected report invited, effectively demanded, a mathematical misconception (on inflection points); by correcting the report, QCAA ensured that their exam-report could no longer be relied upon as an authority for this misconception.

In Victoria, it’s different. Continue reading “The Cost of VCAA’s Dissembling”

## Acknowledging and Apologising For an Error

I have come to realise the need to acknowledge a major error on this blog. Errors will occur, of course, but when they occur it is important to admit them and to own them, to make amends to the extent that is possible. Continue reading “Acknowledging and Apologising For an Error”

## Do You Gotta Get a Gimmick?

It is possible that the lessons to be had from burlesque for the teaching of mathematics have not been so fully appreciated. To help rectify this, here is a number from the musical Gypsy.

And the question: when teaching mathematics, do you gotta get a gimmick? Do gimmicks help? Or, do they simply give the illusion of helping?

I’m honestly not sure. I’m not even sure if my own teaching is gimmicky (although at times it has been described as burlesque).

## PoSWW 38: Double, Double, Toilet and Trouble

Well, that should just about do it.

## PoSWW 37: Squaring the Circles

This one comes courtesy of Mystery Fred. The diagram above is for a Circle Gaps Brainteaser, and appeared online last week as part of Double Helix, CSIRO‘s science magazine for kids. The text for the brainteaser (as if it matters) is as follows:

What is the area of the orange star in the centre? The blue circles each have an area of 3 square centimetres, and the big square has sides that are 4 centimetres long.

A comment on the post makes it clear that the choices of sidelength and area were purposefully made.