New Cur 18: To be two, or not to be 2

This one may be of little interest to others, but it’s been bugging us. A peculiar puzzle of writing mathematics is deciding when to use names and when to use numerals: should we write “two” or “2”? There is no one (1?) answer, and there are conflicting principles. Along with other rules, English style guides […]

New Cur 17: Natural Selection

A few weeks ago, we posted on a klutzy index law elaboration in the new curriculum: using examples such as , and to illustrate the necessity that for any non-zero natural number 𝑛,  (new AC9M8N02) Some commenters were understandably puzzled by a side point: ACARA’s employment of the expression “non-zero natural number”. In this post, […]

VCAA’s Lesser Literary Offenses

One of the all-time great literary wallops, by one of the all-time great writers, is Mark Twain’s Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses: Cooper’s art has some defects. In one place in “Deerslayer,” and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115. It […]

New Cur 12: A Futile Quad Wrangle

This one comes courtesy of commenter jono, who pointed out the absence of quadrilaterals in the f-6 part of the new Curriculum. jono noted that the terms “rhombus” and “kite” and “parallelogram” and Trapezium” are not once mentioned, and that the single mention of “quadrilateral” is in a Year 1 Space elaboration:

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 […]

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 […]

WitCH 89: Proof Negative

VCAA’s new version of Specialist Mathematics contains “Proof” as a topic (which says everything one needs to know about VCE mathematics). A few commenters have alerted us to the fact that VCAA have now provided two videos: on induction (transcript and slides); and on proof by contradiction (transcript and slides). There are issues. (31/01/24 Link […]

The Indelicate Art of the Mathematics Documentary

Mathsy people try very hard to like mathematics documentaries. They will frequently claim that they like them. But they don’t, really, not often, not much. For non-maths people it is much simpler: they don’t like maths documentaries and, if not so intimidated as to hold their tongues, they are generally happy to say so. The […]