Suppose, hypothetically, you were asked to write 2000 words on What Went Wrong with Maths Ed – or just plain Ed – in, say, the last 50 years. What would you write? What are the major causes of that decline? What are the essential arguments and examples to support the actuality of the decline, and the reasons? Continue reading “What Went Wrong?”→
Of course the main thing to note about this forum was the astonishing decision to not include any women. But, ignoring that disgraceful aspect, the forum is well worth watching. We have our thoughts (of course), but we’ll save them until after people have had a chance to watch and to comment.
Alan Tudge’s Review of Initial Teacher Education is out. (Thanks, Terry.) The Report and Summary can be downloaded here, and a Jordan Baker article on the leak (i.e. drop) of the Report is here. Our comments on the launching of the Review are here.
We haven’t had a chance to look yet, even at Baker’s article.
Having fixed maths education and having run out of things to say, we’re open for suggestions.
Yeah, well, not really, or even close. We have, however, said all we plan to say on ACARA and their ridiculous curriculum, at least until whatever happens happens. And, although our to-do list runs to several volumes, with some to-dos kind of pressing, there is now, finally some space for choice. So, if there is something you wish us to write upon, some WitCH you particularly wish to see updated, whatever, suggestions are welcome. They’ll be ignored, but they’re welcome.
While we’re working away on ACARA, here’s another post to keep readers occupied. Below are released “benchmark” test items from TIMSS 2019. (Further details about the benchmarking can be found in the full report (pp 35-59, 172-198).
We don’t pay a lot of attention to ITE and education faculties. Our working assumption is that it’s all nonsense. So, unless something specifically Maths Ed-ish arises, or it looks like someone is about to start a promising war, we just leave them in peace to do their silly stuff. Sometimes, however, their stuff is so silly, a response is called for.
[W]ho are the education academics in Australia who specialise in mathematics teaching and who advocate for explicit teaching, times tables etc.?
Ashman has a decently large following, but the replies to his question were tellingly non-existent. The only specific people suggested were the very non-Australian Jim Milgram, a hard core Stanford mathematician who took time off to wallop Jo Boaler, and Stephen Norton, a Griffith University education academic who appears solid and thoughtful, and barely visible. Anyone else?
The time for submissions to ACARA’s review has ended. Which means it’s now time for machinations and clandestine transactions. One hopes that our Glorious Mathematical Leaders know who they are dealing with and how to deal with them.* In the main, we’ll get back to posting on other topics.** Still, there are ACARA irritants remaining, things left unwritten, and when we’re sufficiently irritated we’ll post on it.
One constant irritant has the been the “it’s all there” defenses of ACARA’s draft. Yes, so it goes, there is an increased emphasis on inquiry/modelling/whatever, but not at the expense of basic skills.
“We absolutely have to focus on problem solving [but there should also be] an equal focus on building fluency”.
So, it’s not “strategies/efficiency/skills/content” versus “problem solving/reasoning/exploring/thinking”:
“Great Maths teachers do both!”
See? The problem isn’t with the ACARA draft curriculum. The problem is that you’re not a great maths teacher.