# Interpreting Carol Dweck's Motivation Questionairre

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by mature_maths_trainee, Dec 12, 2010.

1. ### weebecka

I'll have another go at responding to this one, since I messed it up last time.
Scentless_apprentice,
Even with a very simple concept like multiplication, there is substantial variation over time and confusion now as to what it actually is. I can explain this further if you like (it helps if you spend sometime thinking about what you personally think multiplication is as part of this), or we can move on to a different theme.

2. ### DMNew commenter

Yes, but you only have to enter a room to enchant them by your genius weebee. What about the rest of us?

3. ### DMNew commenter

Happy Xmas by the way.

4. ### weebecka

That's right of course DM, I just walked in and all was sweetness and light. The children devised Euclid's algorithms for themselves while I sat back, relaxed, sipping my cuppa.
Nothing to do with using the specific strategies I've been taught by the many gifted teachers I've worked with and am happy to talk about here (combined with a ton of resiliance and a great deal of peer and personal support).

5. ### DMNew commenter

I knew it. Well, fair play to you - if you've got it, flaunt it.

6. ### bgy1mm

We had a thread recently on how to teach -2 * -2 = 4.

7. ### weebecka

Oh you don't have to get that complicated, just try 7x3. What's that?

8. ### weebecka

& how and why? what's going on when we multiply?

9. ### bgy1mm

It's the lucky numbers, 3 and 7 makes 21. I was taught that by my mother and still think of it that way.
Of course I can add 14 to 7 in my head, but that's a bit of an effort, so I don't do it like that. I just treat it as a fact.

10. ### weebecka

That's nice. Each result can be a remembered fact.
anyone else?

11. ### Betamale

Multiplication and division facts should be that for most. No real depth,m simply a parrott fashion response
Teacher "7x8"
Every student "56"
Once this is sroted, fluent for all operations then an understanding of why can be explored.
Anything beyond this is not required for many students who slug their way through 11 years of foral education to come out with a C or D grade still unable to recall basic number facts.
Numeracy is not maths, maths relies on numeracy.
Teach them as two subjects, the latter being a progression from the former for those fluent.
Why teach angle facts, area of strange shapes and scatter graphs year in year out if the pupils cant work out the monthly cost of their gas bill if they have been handed the yearly one?

12. ### MathsMANew commenter

But my problem is just what students these are, as looking at your CV/Profile I struggle to see where you have stayed long enough or had the time to implement these wonderful strategies (apart from the one school of choice in Cumbria) with a range of classes.
Your last three schools spanned 3 years in total, a period of which you have mentioned you were actually not at one of the schools. Your last year is somewhat of a mystery as we have to still to understand what you have been doing and what your link is with MMU?
So just where have you had the time, capacity and longevity to make such grandoise claims about the merits and success of these "methods"?
Where is the emperical research, where are we to find a detailed explanation of the methods, the setting, the outcomes etc?
I'm not entering in to an ad hominen fallacy, but I think it would be fair to say that an impartial observer would find ir rather difficult to square your claims with your experince to date.

13. ### weebecka

I'm happy to provide context for the purpose of enhancing a discussion, but clearly that's not happening here.
I could defend myself on each point one at a time,
for example here I was teaching Jordanian students in state schools in front of their teachers, who afterwards got to critically analyse what I was doing (and boy were they sharp). Following this we would spend time together, getting to know each other and chatting about the realities of their teaching, their constraints and their aspirations.
I find this kind of teaching more illuminating that working for a while in an expat school.

But the negative twisting and the accusations are coming too thick and fast to be compatible with an interesting thread MathsMA.
So to abridge my need to work with them all, could I perhaps instead suggest that you celebrate Christmas by having an anal encounter with your festive tree, which I hope has a nice sharp pointy star on top.

14. ### weebecka

i.e. attack the argument or the topic, not the person.

15. ### MathsMANew commenter

In general, when you have managed to respond on a topic/argument (as opposed to waffling off on a tangent and/or posting your "facilitating", read condescending, questions), people have responded (often in horror) at some of your suggestions.
Additionally, as I have mentioned above, I'm not attempting an ad hominem attack here, instead I am merely trying to gain an understanding of where your experiences have been and how robust they are particularly when you hold them up to be a sort of panacea of teaching and learning.
I don't think it is at all unreasonable to question your experience or experiences, particualry when they relate directly to some of your more boastful claims. You continually refer to "my students" or "my classes" and I am merely trying to ascertain just where and what these classes were, because looking at your profile I have to say I'm not overly confident that you have been around anywhere long enough to be speaking with such certainty and confidence.
Your experiences form a central plank of your posts on here, its just that I have my doubts about the validity of your experiences and your refusal to expand on them speaks volumes to me. I'm particularly curious with regards your last three years of teaching and your work at MMU.

PS If Boaler blustered on to this forum in the way you have with stories about the benefits of Mixed Ability Teaching or Williams on Formative Assessment, I would probably be just as miffed at their poor communication skills and their patronising attitude, but at least they have a plethora of experience and hard edged research to back up their opinions which might placate me somewhat. Instead judging by your profile (with its incorrect lengths of tenure at various places) you have nothing to back up your bluster.

16. ### weebecka

Good good. Look MathsMA. I just can't give you the level of details you're demanding here. It's inappropriate. I'm happy to meet your or others and discuss this kind of thing in an appropriate way. I'm not covering anything up - I think in the first thread here I was very clear that I'd been HOD in a small school. I've not been misrepresenting things. Again, like Jordan I chose it deliberately because being head of a small dept. give you a great deal of freedom to change things rapidly and for other reasons we could discuss face to face.
If you don't want to meet me, stop having a go because I can't give the level of detail you want here, so it's pointless. Yes my CV is slighty fragmented, but there are sensible and appropriate reasons for that.
Heaven knows why on earth you think my profile is incorrect. It's far more detailed and open than anyone else here and it's just as it is. Again, it's just totally inappropriate to write things like that. If there's one specific thing that doesn't seem right then mention it, or better still PM me so that it doesn't spam up the thread and I can reassure you.
I did invite Jo Boaler up to do observations at Ehenside, but sadly it just wasn't possible before it shut. She's a long way from here and she was working with a different focus at the time. It was a shame because I don't think she really understands the impact braodband has had on the practicalities of integrating curriculum-orientated and process-orientated curricula.

I'm not looking to win an argument with you based on my back-record MathsMA or to overwhelm you with my credibility. My resume isn't there to do that, just give people an idea of my range of experience so I don't have to start from scratch whenever someone new joins the discussion. On most forums you're required to provide this sort of stuff because discussion is so much easier if you just click on a poster to get a good idea of 'where they're coming from'.
I've no interest whatsoever in arguments being won because one poster 'is better' than the other. I'm just interested in exploring the issues - with anyone who wants to talk about them.

17. ### Maths_MikeNew commenter

Beecka - please dont take it too personally I just think that lots of us are fed up with people - many of whom have limited (either in time or type) teaching experience telling us what to do and why we are **** at our jobs and they are so much better.

I mean anyone from Ed balls (or who ever his replacement is) to Carol Vorderman to my postman things they would be a bettre treacher than I am.

They may well be right but I dont tell them how to do their job!

18. ### scentless_apprentice

My sentiments entirely. I'm all for a debate about the priniciples of Mathematics education.
But a lot of the time, we've got to look at the problems we have working at 'the coal face' - i.e. in the class!

19. ### weebecka

Er - I do get this.
Back on the thread - when we had training on Carol Dweck, the first half of it was fine - a nice gentle interactive coverage of what she was all about.
Then I/we wanted to talk about and share and develop how we were doing a lot of what she was talking about already, it's just we'd never expressed it in her way.
Instead Barry Hymer just picked the pace up and up, going on with more and more fervour and conviction about how wonderful she was and that was it.
If anyone ever catches me doing a conference session or any training in that way, please scream and shout and stop me. I don't ever want to be like that.

On-line conversations are challenging, especially when they are talking about deep issues like philosophy. I'm genuinely interested in listening to everyone but it takes some working at. I think part of the problem is people assume I'm not listening so they don't bother to work at it.

The coal face bit just means people drop in and out of the deeper conversations as and when they feel like it and that's absolutely fine. The deeper stuff is better taken on bite size chunks anyway.