New Cur 15: The Vastness of Space

As was our previous post, this one concerns a very small but very telling detail of the new mathematics curriculum. A minor perversion of the curriculum is the renaming of the study of geometry as “Space”. This stupidity was noted by AMSI last year, in their submission on the draft curriculum:

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New Cur 14: Moving the Decimal Point, and Other Sins

The Year 6 Number stream of the new mathematics Curriculum contains a notable content descriptor:

multiply and divide decimals by multiples of powers of 10 without a calculator, applying knowledge of place value and proficiency with multiplication facts; using estimation and rounding to check the reasonableness of answers (AC9M6N06) 

Yep, we’re just like Singapore. Continue reading “New Cur 14: Moving the Decimal Point, and Other Sins”

New Cur 6: Necessity is the Mother of Convention

ACARA’s draft mathematics curriculum contained the following elaboration from Year 8 Number:

using expressions such as \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{\frac{3^4}{3^4} =1}, and \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{{3^{4-4}}=3^0} to illustrate the convention that for any natural number 𝑛, \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{{n^0}=1}, for example, \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{{10^0}=1} (old AC9M8N02)

This has been changed for the approved curriculum:

using examples such as \color{OliveGreen}\boldsymbol{\frac{3^4}{3^4} =1}, and \color{OliveGreen}\boldsymbol{{3^{4-4}}=3^0} to illustrate the necessity that for any non-zero natural number 𝑛, \color{OliveGreen}\boldsymbol{{n^0}=1} (new AC9M8N02)

Give ’em another few years and ACARA just might land upon proper wording. And the proper use of commas. And brackets. And logic.

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New Cur 5: Non-Reoccuring Decimals

Last year, we held a competition: What Are the Arguments FOR the Draft Mathematics Curriculum. The winner was officially no one, partly because everyone was too cynical to take the competition seriously, and partly because everyone’s cynicism was very largely justified. Still, we decided to declare John Friend the winner, for his suggestion in a different competition. John’s suggestion was an elaboration from Year 8 Number:

investigating the use of pronumerals to represent recurring decimals as their equivalent fractions, for example, let \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{x = 0.\bar7} then \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{x = 0.77777..} and \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{10x = 7.77777...} therefore  \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{10x \mbox{ \bf - } x = 7} and 9x = 7 so \color{RawSienna}\boldsymbol{x = \frac79} (old AC9M8N03)

This elaboration has been removed for the approved curriculum.

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New Cur 4: Golden Moments

ACARA’s draft mathematics curriculum contained innumerable head-slappers, including the following content and elaboration from Year 8 Number (which we posted upon here):

recognise and investigate irrational numbers in applied contexts including certain square roots and π (old AC9M8N01)

investigate the Golden ratio as applied to art, flowers (seeds) and architecture

That has changed. In its stead, ACARA’s approved Curriculum has
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OUP’s Missed Chance on Knowledge and Skills

A bit over a week ago, the Australian arm of Oxford University Press, in collaboration with the Australian Maths Trust, released a White Paper: The knowledge and skills gap in Australian primary mathematics classrooms. Yeah, it’s in the “well, duh” category of reports, on the massive range of student mathematics levels, which primary school teachers must then manage. But, still, the report can’t be a bad thing, can it? Well, …

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The Awfullest Australian Curriculum Algebra Lines

We’ve now gone through all the algebra – more accurately, “algebra” – sections of ACARA’s new mathematics curriculum. Parallel to our Worst Number Lines post, the following is our list of the worst algebra lines. Once again, it is important to note that these few lines do not begin to convey the unrelenting stupidity and triviality of the curriculum.

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The Awfullest Australian Curriculum Number Lines

As regular readers will know, and have been ignoring, we’ve been steadily working through ACARA’s new mathematics curriculum, compiling the annoying-or-way-worse 1-liner content descriptions and elaborations. No one is reading it of course, because that would be nuts. Or, it would cause the reader to go nuts. But, we’ll continue. In for a penny, in for a pounding. Continue reading “The Awfullest Australian Curriculum Number Lines”

New Cur 1 + PoSWW 29: Cut Down in One’s Prime

As part of writing our WWW article, we forced ourselves, finally, to look at ACARA’s new Mathematics Curriculum. Jesus, it’s bad. Like village idiot bad.

We’ll start a post in the near future,* compiling the various nonsenses, new and old, and including aspects readers have already pointed out on this post. One new piece of stupidity, however, seems worthy of special mention.

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WitCH 83: A Viral MAS Question

8 ÷ 2(2 + 2) = ?

This is really a PoSWW. Except, there are a lot of words.

Above is one of those stupid BODMAS things, which appear in the media about once a month. Except, this one has just been sorted by a couple of Canadian Maths Ed professors, in a Conversation article titled The Simple Reason a Viral Math Question Stumped the Internet. Regular readers will be aware of our method of resolving such questions, but we think there are aspects of the Conversation article that warrant specific whacks.

Have fun.

Continue reading “WitCH 83: A Viral MAS Question”