WitCH 123: Blockheads

Ok, I’ve started to look more carefully, and my conclusion will come as no great surprise to the “I told you so” readers: NAPLAN still really sucks. Clearly, my informant was drunk.

Over the next few days, I will be posting a number of WitCHes, on questions from the post-2016 tests to which I currently have access. I’ll then try hard to find the time to write on NAPLAN more generally. I have also updated The ACARA Page with internal links, to make it easier to access all the NAPLAN posts and articles from over the years.

Continue reading “WitCH 123: Blockheads”

Are the Times Tables Turning?

Non-blog life (otherwise known as life) has eased up enough to get back to posting, and there’s quite a backlog of topical, “must do today” posts, plus a requested TNDOT. Usually, if I don’t get to a topical post quickly then I just drop the idea. Some recent media stuff has sufficiently annoyed me, however, that I’ll pretend it’s all still topical and I’ll post anyway.

First, another quick word about Tony Gardiner, who unexpectedly died last month. Tony’s death has affected me deeply, particularly given that I never met him, modulo attending a memorable lecture, and given that it was for only a couple years that we conversed, by email and through this blog. But I had begun to realise, and more so with his death, how much Tony had been guiding me, by explicit, admirably blunt, advice, and much more by example. I realised that I had started to compose blog posts with a “What would Tony think?” voice in my head. And Tony’s example is unparalleled. The amount that Tony contributed to mathematics education, for decades, is simply phenomenal, much of it dirt cheap or free. Tony had a missionary dedication to the mathematics education community, and he had a wisdom about mathematics education second to none. I know how fortunate I am to have Tony’s voice in my head. It will always be there.

Continue reading “Are the Times Tables Turning?”

The Australian Curriculum Sucks. Who Knew?

Well, um, we knew. As did anyone who cared to look. Now, it seems, Australia’s education reporters know. In the last couple of days the Australian Curriculum has been getting a proper pounding from the Guardian, the Age/SMH, the AFR sticking both boots in, and the Australian sticking three boots in (Murdoch, paywalled). Continue reading “The Australian Curriculum Sucks. Who Knew?”

New Cur 31: The Poverty of No Expectations

This is our final post on the Australian Curriculum.* We’ll try to keep it short. We shall make the simple point that it does not matter what the curriculum purports to cover since there is not also included a clear indication of the extent and depth of what the teacher is expected to teach and, thus, what the student is expected to learn. Continue reading “New Cur 31: The Poverty of No Expectations”

New Cur 30: The Complete Pain Words

WRITING STYLE

I am not a good writer. Primarily, I use the monkey-typewriter method: if you rewrite a sentence sufficiently many times then you’ll eventually wind up with something at least serviceable. Then, if you rewrite a paragraph sufficiently many times … And so on. It is not a very efficient method. Continue reading “New Cur 30: The Complete Pain Words”

More Digital Tools

The Federal Department of Education has just come out with a commissioned report: Research into Best Practice Models for the use of digital technologies in mathematics teaching and learning. There are four summary videos (no separate links) and one-pager summaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), and the report itself. We’ve watched the videos and read the summaries and skimmed the Report, and we can’t be bothered. We can’t even bother WitCHing it. Readers may be interested, however, and may wish to comment.

Continue reading “More Digital Tools”