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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The New Australian Mathematics Curriculum

There must be a better way of doing this. But, we’re a blogger of very little brain, so we’ll do it this way.

Having slogged our way through the new Mathematics Curriculum, we’ve read enough to realise that we’ll be writing plenty more. It seems worthwhile, there, having a dedicated meta-post for these posts. This is it. (It is and will remain a subset of The ACARA Page.)

Paralleling the ACARA Crash series on the draft curriculum, the majority of the upcoming posts will be in the just-created New Cur series. As indicated below, we’ve slightly retitled three posts to be the beginning of this series.

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The Awfullest Australian Curriculum Probability Lines

We made it. We have read ACARA’s entire idiotic mathematics curriculum, and we’ve completed the Complete Awfullest Works. Meaning, soon, we’ll be on to Stage Two. But first, following on from Number and Algebra and Measurement and Space and Statistics, we have the post for the awfullest Probability lines.

The Probability stream is, of course, awful, but the awfulness is notably different in character from that of the Statistics. Whereas the statistics is a homogeneous gruel of “data”, with the only mathematical substance being the tiny, tasteless raisins of “median” and its kin, the probability stream has just enough substance to be consistently, solidly stupid.

Note that the Probability stream only begins in Year 3 since, unlike Algebra, the kids need to know a little before considering such concepts.

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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 read the Report, although some commenters had things to say. We’ve since read the report pretty thoroughly. It was thrilling, a real page-turner. Continue reading “The Summary Execution of Initial Teachers”

The Awfullest Australian Curriculum Statistics Lines

This one is different. It is ostensibly a year-by-year selection of the worst statistics lines chosen from the Complete Awfullest Works. Unlike for Number and Algebra and Measurement and Space, however, this is effectively impossible. Nothing similar, or anything, properly works for Statistics. Even the lines chosen for the Complete Awfullest Works were chosen largely at random.

The Statistics stream is so bad, so vague and thin and aimless and repetitive, the only proper way to appreciate the badness is to read the entire thing. There is likely just one person in Australia stubborn enough to do that: Merchant-Ivory has its Joe Queenan, and ACARA has its Marty. You’re welcome.

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