Here’s a third entry in our Teaching New Dogs Old
Trigs Tricks series: the first three questions from the 1907 Victorian Matric Algebra exam.* As well as the computational aspects, readers might be interested in contemplating what was expected for the proof parts, as well as how one might fruitfully present such results to students now, a century later.
*) TNDOT 2 is also in the process of being updated. Stay tuned.
Continue reading “TNDOT 3: The Remainders of the Day”
A year or so ago, a decades-long friend and colleague reappeared. My friend also has a strong interest in maths ed, although she takes the “Let’s all be friends” approach. Readers of this blog know well that I’ve given up on that, but still my friend and I can argue amicably about this and that. In particular, she took some issue with my “all modern maths ed sucks” post. While conceding that most educational research is bad, she was unwilling to write off the discipline entirely and she suggested a few things for me to read. I gave them a semi-decent try, and my response was “meh”. While the stuff she suggested was mostly reasonable, or even good, I felt it was, at best, addressing third order issues. One article, however, has had me pondering a little, and I thought it may be worth sharing.
Continue reading “Can a Maths Ed Theory Give Back More Than It Takes?”
This is the second post in our new, Teaching New Dogs Old Trigs/Tricks series. This one, suggested by a reader, is another trig one, with the final part related to our first TNDOT post. It is from the 1913 Victorian Matric Trigonometry Honours Exam. Here it is:
Continue reading “TNDOT 2: Trigged Again”
This post is a little overdue, or long overdue, depending on how you look at it. Barry Humphries died in April, and a couple weeks ago there was a State Memorial for Humphries at the Sydney Opera House. I watched a little of the Memorial, but it was wrong and depressing, and I gave up. Humphries was as Melburnian as it gets and a Memorial in Sydney, whatever its other merits, simply made no sense. The Memorial prompted me to begin an overdue post, however, and finally, overoverdue, here it is. Continue reading “Barry Humphries and the Transience of Comedy”
I’ll get back to the anti-festive posts in the near future: there’s plenty of whacking on the to-do-soon list. But for now, while still digesting the Christmas feast as well as recovering from a cold or the plague or whatever, here’s a quick puzzle post. Continue reading “Teaching New Dogs Old Trigs”
Trying to understand when and how Victorian maths education went so wrong has led us down some pretty obscure rabbit holes. A very helpful guide to this warren is Ken Clements and, in particular, Clements’ interesting and interestingly slanted history of Victorian school mathematics, Mathematics for the Minority. Pictured above is one of the rabbits (so to speak). Continue reading “Gaming the Mathematics Exams in 1903”
Tom has a new post on his Teaching Mathematics blog: Lagrange Multipliers – A Historical Approach? Tom riffs off of a (not uncommon) poor 1960’s undergraduate lecture he had, on the method of Lagrange multipliers. Please support Tom’s blog and check it out.
Continue reading “Tom’s Posts Are (Lagrange) Multiplying”
It’s a mathematics curriculum: one does not expect much history or many references to other cultures. Typically there are a few Roman numerals, a quick hello to Pythagoras and Archimedes, and that’s about it. More would be good, but it is not to be expected.
Continue reading “New Cur 25: Some Cultures Are More Equal Than Others”
Northcote High School Library decided to get rid of some books, which is not news: such libraries discard books all the time. Except, the method by which NHS Library went about it was news. A week ago, The Age‘s Adam Carey had a report, School library discards outdated and offensive books on colonisation: Carey’s report begins,
The following is our complete Arena article, which we announced a couple weeks ago. It includes footnotes and references and links that didn’t make it into the Arena version.
Continue reading “Do the Maths: Why Mathematics Education is Failing Our Kids”