Education Pundits, and Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Earlier this week, Ben Jensen‘s Learning First released a report on Australia’s science curriculum. Their report was strong, with a clear and simple message: the science curriculum has too little science, too incoherently presented. The reporting on Learning First’s research was very good. The punditry was not. Continue reading “Education Pundits, and Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

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


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”

Eddie Woo’s Mental Connections

Eddie Woo has been annoying for a long time. Eddie knows much less than he realises and his smiling inanities, which are invariably swallowed whole, are a continual distraction from real issues and real solutions. But he’s gotten worse. Eddie Professor of Practice Woo has graduated from being a distraction and an annoyance to being an active menace. Continue reading “Eddie Woo’s Mental Connections”

What Are the Good Mathematics Teaching Resources?

There’s no been shortage of Bad Stuff posts lately, even by the wallowing standards of this blog. So, today, let’s have an uplifting chat:* what are the good mathematics teaching resources?

This is the third and final post inspired by mysterious commenter texas. First, for who people should read on maths ed, see the discussion here. Then, for the discussion about good (and bad) mathematics curricula, go here. Now it’s on to mathematics teaching resources, by which we mean anything that can contribute to the content of teaching: notably good textbooks, problem sets and so forth.

Continue reading “What Are the Good Mathematics Teaching Resources?”

Let Them Eat Dreck

Yesterday, we wrote about the Maths Battles at Adelaide’s Prince Alfred College, but of course, the big, nationwide maths battling took place last week, with the holding of the annual Australian Mathematics Competition. Administered by the Australian Maths Trust, the AMC was undertaken by ballpark 200,000 school kids from around the country and overseas.

The competition is excellently done. We arranged and administered the comp for kids at our daughters’ primary school, and for such an everywhere undertaking the process was remarkably simple and human. Moreover, for the clueless such as ourselves, AMT’s email help was great: quick and clear and friendly. More importantly, the competition questions are excellent, clearly written and clever and well-chosen, progressing from very obvious to very not obvious (even at the primary level). The AMT, including strong mathematicians, and including a few of our friends, work very hard to get this competition right. And, to those mathematicians, particularly our friends, we offer these two words: screw you. Continue reading “Let Them Eat Dreck”