This is our final excerpt from Teaching Mathematics at Secondary Level Tony Gardiner’s 2016 commentary and guide to the English Mathematics Curriculum. (The first two excerpts are here and here.) It is a long and beautifully clear discussion of the nature of problem-solving, and its proper place in a mathematics curriculum (pp 63-73). (For Australia’s demonstration of improper placement, see here, here and here.)
Continue reading “Tony Gardiner on Problem Solving”
Our first excerpt from Tony Gardiner’s Teaching Mathematics at Secondary Level is here. Our second excerpt is a short remark on “financial mathematics” in a mathematics curriculum (p 75). The relevance to Australia’s draft curriculum is obvious.
Continue reading “Tony Gardiner on Financial Mathematics”
Does anybody ever properly read Terms of Reference? Probably not, and in the case of ACARA’s Terms of Reference for their curriculum review, this was a fatal error. The Education Minsters who approved ACARA’s ToR screwed up. Royally.
Below, we work through the ACARA’s Terms of Reference, section by section, highlighting critical aspects to the review of the mathematics curriculum. We’ll indicate how the ToR gave, and continues to give, ACARA license to consciously and to thoroughly ignore mathematicians, as well as education ministers. We shall also indicate how, nonetheless, ACARA have violated their own Terms of Reference whenever and however it suited ACARA’s real agenda.
Continue reading “ACARA’s Terms of Reference”
We’re working on a long ACARA post, which, hopefully, will be up in a day or so. In the meantime and as a bit of background for the coming post, readers may wish to have a wander through the Singaporean Primary Mathematics Syllabus.* (The syllabus begins with explanatory chapters, and the content description begins on page 34.)(Added 12/10/21 – The Secondary Syllabus 1-4 is here.)
Continue reading “The Singapore Mathematics Syllabus”
Dear mathematicians, if you don’t really know about the draft mathematics curriculum, and if you are somehow unaware that the inclusion of new content that you happen to like necessitates the dilution or elimination of other content – content that is more important for everyone, and for a coherent curriculum, and which is already woefully underrepresented – then perhaps you should look beyond your own self interest, shut the hell up and listen to people who have been paying attention. Thank you.
Rebecca Urban has a report in The Australian today (Murdoch, paywalled):
‘Warped lessons must be dumped’: Tudge
Education Minister Alan Tudge says the board of the country’s schooling authority must substantially rewrite its draft national curriculum, warning he will not endorse the proposed document amid concern student outcomes would be harmed. …
In the letter, seen by The Australian, Mr Tudge urged the [ACARA] board to seriously consider recent feedback from education experts, who have flagged concerns that the proposed changes amounted to a weakening of learning standards.
Continue reading “Alan Tudge Calls for a Rewrite of the Draft Curriculum”
The following is a list of errors – and possible/arguable errors – in the draft mathematics curriculum. Commenters are invited and encouraged to suggest additions, and deletions.
By “error” we mean a statement or instruction that is factually wrong or that makes no logical/mathematical/everyday sense. Some of the listed “errors” are clear-cut, while others are less so. Of course the fact that a statement/instruction made no sense to us does not prove that it makes no sense; we’ve attempted to be fair, being tough on the improper use of technical terms while giving weird phrasings a good-faith pondering in context. Nonetheless, there may well be reasonable interpretations that we have missed. (Of course phrasing that is difficult to interpret has no place in a curriculum document, but that is a separate category of sin.) As well, it is not always clear whether to characterise a statement as an error or simply a really dumb idea, but we’ve tried to stick pretty closely to “error”, leaving the noting of really dumb ideas to our other ninety-eight posts.
The list follows. The majority are elaborations. There are a few content descriptors, for which associated elaborations are indicated by a further indentation. Again, commenters are encouraged both to suggest additions to the list, and to argue for deletions from the list.
Continue reading “ACARA Crash 18: Errors in the Draft Mathematics Curriculum”
A few weeks ago, the Sydney Morning Herald published a report by Lisa Visentin and Anna Prytz, with the pithy title,
Maths experts reaffirm support for curriculum changes as leading group sounds alarm
The “leading group” refers to AMSI, which indeed sounded the alarm, calling for a halt of ACARA’s review of the mathematics curriculum. The claim, however, that “maths experts” reaffirmed support for the curriculum changes is, in a word, bullshit. Obviously AMSI did not do so, but also, to a reasonable approximation, no one did.
Continue reading “Maths Experts Do Not Reaffirm Support For Curriculum Changes”