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Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by mature_maths_trainee, Dec 12, 2010.
Betamale - stop troughing the mushrooms before you post.
"Brookes - yes. Weebecka's getting a much easier ride on TES than teasdaler did when she started out on NCETM"
I mean this kindly, but I must say it was your posting style I recognised before I made the connection between the names.
We use base ten for representing number because we have ten fingers, a biological rather than a mathematical fact. There's nothing special about base ten numbers from the mathematical point of view, therefore nothing special about the 10x10 multiplication table.
The two logical place-value systems are base 2 and base phi. Virtually all modern computers use base 2 (a few use binary-coded decimal, a sort of hybrid of base 2 and base 10). Since most numbers are represented electronically, there are many many binary numbers for every decimal number - for instance the machine I'm typing this in now has about 4 trillion binary numbers in its memory, and shows maybe 20 decimal numbers on the screen at present. Reals are usually represented in IEEE floating point format. No base phi computer is currently in mass production, but base phi has theoretical advantages and the idea is often discussed.
Obviously, understanding the way your culture represents numbers is fundamental, but it isn't. strictly, mathematics. A person from another culture could do the same mathematics with a different representation.
Er... Did you actually read my post or do you just pluck the bits that don't go completely against whatever you are peddling at this moment in time?
I don't deal with the educational systems, I deal with the consequences of the educational systems.
Another question, just to see what your actual experience of teaching is, rather than some theoretical construct, how much teaching have you done, in how many different educational systems, in how many different countries and with how many different nationalities?
If all you have done is just taught a few years in the UK, then sorry, you don't have a clue about anything and what you are saying might as well be picked up in a book. Which it probably is.
If, however, you have taught for a while in a number of different educational systems with kids from myriad different nationalities then perhaps what you are saying does have some concrete experience behind it.
So, which one is it?
Hey bgy1mm, why are you posting on the Sabbath?
Won't that other theoretical construct - what do you call him/her/it... god? - get theoretically upset with you and send you to a theoretical hell?
As you can see from my profile Karvol,
- I've lived and taught in Hong Kong.
- I've worked in the Middle East and have taught quite a few schools out there (about 6?).
I'm interested - you were heavily critical of the use of RME in the Dutch system.
Over the last 5 or 6 years I have taught kids from the Dutch educational system - both public and private - and the results have not been positive.
Not one student has had the technical ability to cope with a high level mathematics course. Understanding of mathematics, maybe, but technical ability, no. Without this they cannot get anywhere.
So something is going wrong, somewhere along the lines in many countries of the world when it comes to mathematics teaching.
The only countries that appeared immune from this were China and South Korea, however even now we are beginning to see the odd student from those countries lacking in technical ability. The common denominator seems to be that they were educated in an international school following the English National Curriculum.
On the surface of it, the NC seems to be ok. Yet the implementation of it, or at least how the implementation of it is taught in Teacher Training Colleges is severely hindering mathematical learning and understanding.
That's very interesting Karvol. If any futher thoughts come to you about this please let me know.
Are you talking about he old NC or the 2007/8 version?
The idea of having a national curriculum (in terms of the core mathematical techniques and vocabularly being defined and levelled) is very sound for quite a few reasons.
One of the most obvious is that it allows the creation of very high quality central resources such as some of those created by the strategy and those created privately like MyMaths. Without a common curriculum such resources would struggle to exist.
Another reason is the 'democratises' progress in that a child can prove to the teacher that they have reached a certain level and deserve to move up a set or to progress to harder work whether or not the teacher thinks they can or has noticed their progress.
The levelling creates an infrastructure which puts pressure on students to 'push for the next level' which I like - provided that pressure isn't unrelenting.
It is easier for students to move from school to school.
What would you see as being the problems of (I'm assuming you mean the old) national curriculum Karvol?
Do you actually read what people write?
Mostly. I've kind of given up on Autismuk now.
This can of Oxbridge academics approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics and debates using words and langauge that the majority of adults (let alone children) dont understand leaves me cold to be honest.
Curriculum - dictated teaching methods - APP - test etc etc all count for very little IMHO.
What matters (and yes there is plenty of academic reaserch to support this to keep the boffs happy) is the realtionship between the pupil and the class. Without it everything else is destined to fail.
So if I need to be a bit imaginiatve in what topics I teach , creative in the way they are presented or if I need just to rote learn some basics or do some consolidation excercises - all will be successful if the students are behaved well and set expectations that they will engage with the lesson.
If they spend more time throwing paper pellets and listening to Itunes then all of the above debate becomes irrelevant.
*I thinnk i probably meant between the teacher and the class!
You presume incorrectly.
I am talking about the implementation of the NC, not the NC itself.
I think I will retire from this thread. It is difficult to have a discussion with someone who has not really developed the capacity for reflective thinking or the more basic ability of actually being able to read what people write.
All the best and enjoy the...er...discussion.
Open ended tasks - all well and good - but in my experience (13 years in propoer schools - not King Henry the V111 independent school fro rich privilaged boys and girls) and in the experience of many of my colleagues who ahve taught between us in a multitude of such schools - students when presented with such a task will simply discuss the football or X factor.
Constant teacher input is required and a structure for them to follow is essential if any meaningful learning outcomes are to be achieved.
so what might sound good in theory to an Oxbridge professor (maybe even one who has spent a bit of time in a school with a small group of handpicked students) if rather different for the majority of us in practice
Are there Oxbridge acadmics on the thread? Do we have Anne Watson? If so - excellent!
One of the disadvantages of the national curriculum was definitely that it disempowered excellent teachers from teaching in ways which engaged and motivated their students.
But did it? Or was that Ofsted, league tables and the replacement of intelligent heads with ambitious narrowly focused ones?
Are you in favour of chucking out all curriculum co-ordingation Mike? Or would you settle for an agreed core curriculum provided teachers had freedom to teach it in the way they felt best and some freedom to introduce wider material of their choice?
I'm rather interested in your profile.
Having worked and lived in Hong Kong for a couple of years in the late 90's (worked for Chubb at Chek Lap), I must say that I've never heard of Little Beetles. What kind of school was this?
You then mention that you worked in 6 schools in the Middle East. However, this would appear to be for a total period of just over 1 1/2 years, which doesn't leave much time at each school. Additionally, were these teaching roles in addition to your larger project brief?
It would be interesting to know about your time at St Benedicts and what your final role was at this school? With a C+ pass rate in Maths of almost 80% and as commendable as that is, I'm guessing that this school wasn't overly challenging with regards behaviour, motivation etc.
And then of course we have this challenging school in Cumbria. A school where in the final Year 11 cohort there were only 2 statemented students and I understand a Year 9 cohort that totalled 34 students (by many standards that doesn't feel like a challenging cohort, although I accept working in a school that is closing brings its own problems, but still it would appear that you haven't really faced a challenging cohort).
Your time at the successor school West Lakes isn't specified. What happened to your role when the two schools merged?
I would be interested to know what your efforts and contributions were during your freelance consultancy days, as I have yet to see much evidence of your contributions (bar two ATM articles and a number of messages on forums).
Then finally what is your role at MMU? There is no mention of you on any of their websites as far as I can see (feel free to link anywhere that does). How regularly do you lecture there and what are your contributions?
Now you (and others) may call this prying and I think it would be fair to say that I would not normally be so interested in someones background and experience. However, with the manner, tone and content of your contributions I'm just trying to build up a picture of yourself and why you hold yourself in such high regard (because being honest, your contributions on here to date, along with a rather patchy Profile/CV does not fill me with the same confidence that you appear to have of your own abilities).
It is in the nature of online 'discussions' Karvol that much gets missed.
This is due many things, most obviously the comment standing devoid of its context. Then we have the chaotic nature of the conversations whereby people are all coming with with separate lines of thought in a way which doesn't happen in a real conversations.
If I've missed something you want to say please point me to what I've missed or, better still, say it again more fully. If you want me to read some back catalogue of threads, please show me which.
If you want me to know more about your context please just tell me. I didn't get offended when you thought I hadn't worked abroad, I just told you what I'd done.
And if you find online 'conversations' too frustrating, do feel free to introduce yourself at one of the maths teaching conferences. I'm easy to find and face to face conversations are, of course, far more interesting and illuminating.
And of course if you simply don't like conversing with me online I'm only involved in a tiny number of threads so I'm easy to avoid.
Little Beetles was/(is) a private primary wrap around school. I'm sure you know that the Hong Kong Schools double shift so students are free either all afternoon or morning, so there's a lot of this kind of thing goes on.
I chose to work there rather than in an English speaking school (as you know the secondary schools are) because I was looking to work in a properly Chinese environment (I was the only native english teacher there). I'm also TESOL trained and it gave me the chance to explore how we can use activities to overcome language barriers and so on, which I found interesting. I could have taught secondary maths but chose this instead as it gave me quite a few opportunities I couldn't otherwise have had.
No, a lot gets missed by you. Not by others. Please do not tar others with the same standards you have for yourself.
No, it is due to not paying attention. Quite a curious failing in a mathematician wouldn't you say, where everything is in the detail?
Why would you get offended? It wasn't an offensive comment, merely a curious one to ascertain your experience.
Again this desire to shift the blame onto others for your own failings. I do not generally find conversations frustrating. I do find trying to converse with those unable to follow a thread and read a post properly rather trying.
Sigh, how long have you had this sense of victimhood about you?
If you see I was actually teaching in the UK at that time - I did this teaching during trips to the Middle East - so it was demonstration lesson and so on rather than employment. This teaching was part of my project brief for the British Council where I was working with the Ministry for Education in Jordan.
That's stunning Bennies - I'm seriously impressed. It wasn't like that in my day. Bennies is the school of choice for most parents in West Cumbria (which is not the Lake District for anyone who has romantic ideas of Cumbria). It's very overcrowded and has plenty of difficult classes and students. I'm guessing it has about average stats?