New Cur 13: A Probable Grand Slam

A project upon which we spent a lot of time was listing all the “awful” lines in the new mathematics Curriculum. Readers have not paid much attention, but that’s understandable, and readers were not really the point. Compiling the list has given us a clearer sense of the absurd nature of the Curriculum, the list has been and will be the basis for more specific posts, and the list is there ready for the future: next year, when the Curriculum kicks in and people start to realise just how bad it is, we’ll be ready with the “We told you so”. Continue reading “New Cur 13: A Probable Grand Slam”

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 Joy of Gambling

A couple weeks ago, the Federal Government announced new regulations for gambling advertising: no longer will people be encouraged to “Gamble responsibly”; now they will be informed that “Chances are you are about to lose”. They will be encouraged to reflect on “What’s gambling really costing you?” and to “Imagine what you could be buying instead”, and so on. Which will fix everything. Continue reading “The Joy of Gambling”

WitCH 88: Unwarranted Confidence

One more from the 2022 Specialist Mathematics Exam 2. Belatedly, we’ve decided this one deserves its own post. It’s probably more of a PoSWW. But, for those weirdos who like to think about this stuff, there are probably also aspects to discuss.

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WitCH 87: Cannery Row

(The title is very clever, but you have to think about it.)*

This one is the last part of the last question of 2022 Specialist Mathematics Exam 2 (not online). It sparked a lot of discussion on the exam post, but seems worth its own WitCH. The question is clearly a mess, but what was intended, and how to think about the mess is not so clear, at least to us. (We showed the question to a professor of statistics, whose first reaction was “Ow!” We’ve applied the smelling salts, and we should be in possession of the professor’s second reaction soon.)

For clarification, we are (kinda sorta) told in the question stem that the masses of the empty cans are normally distributed, but we are told nothing else relevant, other than what’s given below.

Go for it (again).

*) Proving that the title is not really that clever.

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WitCH 85: The Continuation of MAV’s Trials

With Methods exams next week, this one’s kinda important.

We try to avoid critiquing, or even being in the same room as, third party VCE practice exams. They are invariably clunky and weird, with plenty to criticise, but they matter infinitely less than the yearly screw-ups of the official exams.

Even MAV trial exams we do our best to ignore. Yes, the MAV is (too) closely aligned with the VCAA (with a number of people in conflicted, dual roles), and so MAV has a significantly greater professional and moral obligation to maintain high standards. But still, third party is third party, and we try our best to just ignore MAV’s nonsense. On occasion, however, MAV’s nonsense matters sufficiently, or is simply sufficiently annoying, to warrant a whack.

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