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You are a weak student - you may as well just listen to your Walkman.

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Vince_Ulam, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Addressing only this video, I am uncomfortable watching from timestamp 3:29 to 3:44. I am not given to sentimentality but I feel real dismay for students in situations like this. It also feeds into my concerns about the rampant use of social media by many young teachers.


  2. mmmmmaths

    mmmmmaths New commenter

    I do wonder what has happened to privacy. Glad mine is all grown up now or I would be insisting on no videos or photographs being taken at school. Wonder if parents know that their children are on you tube.
  3. The whole video made me wince. Made for commercial gain too... Agree too with Vince about social media, strange how some vocal folk on Twitter are now 'special advisors' to HM Gov, despite being in only their third year of teaching.
  4. Bensusan

    Bensusan New commenter

    Maths, especially times tables should not be fun. We never had fun in our maths lessons, so why should others? As for social media, we'd see our friends after school or weekends and didn't need to communicate more often than that. Certainly didn't need twitter, facebook or youtube to let friends know what we are doing. Back to the old ways please.
  5. I don't believe the OP was referring to the 'fun' aspect of TTRockstars.
  6. Bensusan

    Bensusan New commenter

    The pupil from 3:29 to 3:44 is pretty much anonymous. There's no indication that the name mentioned matches with the pupils in the picture, and knowing how videos are edited, it's pretty unlikely that the script matches with the images except in the scenes where specific pupils are interviewed. It's actually quite a positive part of the video - someone who is struggling with maths is enjoying this activity.
  7. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    By convention, the pupil we see in the two shots over which a Paddington Academy Maths teacher is describing Jaden (sp) - is Jaden, a student at Paddington Academy. In the unlikely event that this is not so then some other child has been immortalised on YouTube as 'a weak student' but easily diverted. Were I either of his parents then I should be very upset at this publication and concerned whether my son's mathematical learning needs - which lead him to becoming 'quite frustrated' - were being dismissed.

    All children enjoy music, as the teacher said of Jaden. Whether he is learning anything is another question.

  8. mature_maths_trainee

    mature_maths_trainee New commenter

    Agree completely with Bensusan.

    I had not assumed (like Vince) that the student in the image was necessarily the same as 'Jaden'/'Jayden'. I maybe feared that it might be, but I didn't assume that it was.

    Most people making such a video would surely know to anonymise appropriately, and to probably use a good student (with parental permission) to 'act' the weaker student's role. No chance of any psychological damage to anyone, and quite a little in-joke to any actor-like child (who may have already featured in a various other commercial ads for all we know).

    Why *assume* it's been done badly?

    Of much, much greater concern to me is the technique's pedagogical value. Whilst it might seem great getting enthusiasm and commitment learning times tables, it's not necessarily good if that then creates a long-term expectation that all Math learning will, or should, be like that. It worries me that some teachers seem to evaluate their initiatives on such narrow metrics.

    As Hattie memorably ~says 'In Education, everything seems to work'.

    MMT (sorry for the grumpy mood)
  9. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Convention would indicate that the student we saw was the Jaden of whom we were told. Unless you are willing to suppose that none of the students in the video were as identified, and if these identities were fictitious then why should we not regard as fictitious the claims for the product?

    Given that you were a responsible teacher &or informed filmmaker then I imagine that were you to make or participate in a promotional video like this then you would follow the protocols which you have outlined. The teaching profession insists on stringent and transparent safeguarding protocols, then the viewer might expect that all the teachers involved would have considered these things. In this video there is no message to indicate that these protocols were followed. My concerns stand and, in the absence of protocols and the presence of the video's information bar, you should 'assume' them..

  10. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I have no problems with enterprise per se but, aside from the concerns I have given, in the context of the whole the Jaden segment sets my teeth on edge.

    I am surprised they recruited someone that experienced.

  11. Vince, I don't have a problem with commercial gain either and my concerns were exactly the same as your own.

    Good call about 3 years counting as being experienced.
  12. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Thanks Sara. I did not mean to imply a disagreement.

    Relative to Nicky Morgan's current crop, three years counts as expert.

  13. Bensusan

    Bensusan New commenter

    Alternatively they could be pleased that the school appear to be doing something to help ease anxieties he has with maths? Glass half full?

    The pupils were discussing improvements in their performance on the activity. This suggests that at least for some pupils, the activity works. Also, part of the problems we face in teaching maths are due to anxiety caused by the subject. Even if the only effect was to reduce anxiety, it's got the potential to lead to improvements in other areas. Again, glass half full.
  14. Bensusan

    Bensusan New commenter

    3 years may not be as "experienced" as 20 years, but to dismiss someone's expertise or authority on the subject simply because of a number is a little harsh. I've seen teachers of 20 or 30 years be completely outshined by teachers with only a few years of experience, and I've seen examples othe other way round. Every person deserves to be evaluated on their own merit, not judged based on an arbitrary number representing experience. IMHO.
  15. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    I used to get annoyed when older teachers harked on about experience. However, older and more experienced as I now seem to be, they had a point. For one thing, watching fads come and go, and being in a position to judge what really is important and will make a difference for kids. Another, the experience of having taught for a number of years at a time in different schools (as opposed to a bit of teaching practice), knowing that the brilliant techniques you used in one place don't necessarily rub with students in a different school, seeing how different schools evolve, how great leaders can work wonders and useless ones can wreck things, and learning to distinguish between one and the other. And countless other things besides. You can't read these things in a textbook, and can't be taught them in lectures. You have to have been there, seen it and done it.

    Round here, I've seen fledgling NQTs and even ITTs being snapped up by quite prestigious national bodies, writing materials which are supposedly showing us all how to manage our classroom work. Enough said...
  16. Bensusan

    Bensusan New commenter

    I appreciate that and agree fully. But my point is that just because someone has been teaching for 20 years, does not [​IMG]automatically[/b] make them better. Likewise someone with 3 years "experience" shouldn't automatically be discounted because of this number.

    It's the experiences they have had that make them better regardless of how long they've taken to gain those experiences.
  17. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    'Glass half full'? What other sage aphorism have you for us - 'Worse things happen at sea'? I do not know how much time you have spent in front of a maths classroom but that lad Jaden is not at ease. Compare him with Anas and the others in the video. If a person has anxieties around an activity which is abbreviating their facility you cannot resolve the causes of that anxiety by playing music at them, otherwise psychotherapy would look very different indeed. The reason people are anxious about learning maths is because they have been taught badly &or are not as fast as other students in grasping the practice & concepts and are being thwarted in their competitive and normative instincts. You resolve this by adapting your teaching to their needs, not by playing Status Quo and Starship at them. Even if the parents are content for their child not to learn maths to the same level as their classmates, this should not prevent you doing your job and teaching him or her to the best of their ability and your resources.

    It is not clear what 'other areas' you have in mind, but as far as I am concerned, in maths class its maths first, last and always, and my colleagues feel the same about their subjects. Students who have comparative difficulty get extraordinary support. The solution to maths anxiety is not to abandon all expectations of improvement and shove someone in a drawer marked 'weak students' when you are pinning their classmates to a public board labelled 'rock stars'. What do you think that does for their maths anxiety? Students needs to experience success with maths through intentional practice, even incrementally, irrespective of the assessments of less cable and committed teachers.
  18. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    More years, more experience, better teaching. It's that simple.

  19. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Judas Goats.

  20. Bensusan

    Bensusan New commenter

    Glass half full is a reference to the way I viewed the video. You assumed the children were uncomfortable, were not consulted on whether they wanted to be in the video, and that the producers did not use the necessary protocols for making videos with children in them. I assumed the children and parents agreed to the video and that any reference to specific children also fitted with their policy. Easier to type "glass half full", than all that. That's all.

    em, other areas in maths!!

    If that's how you interpreted the video, then I can't argue with that. I viewed it differently. The tone throughout was that every child has the potential to improve. You want children to experience success? How about the progress from taking 3 seconds per question to 1 second? Even a "weak" student should be able to see some progress, and that progress should improve their confidence. It's easy to pick at something like this and assume it doesn't work. I have no idea, but keeping an open mind, like I do with everything until I try it means I can remain optimistic rather than dismissive. Perhaps it's just in my nature to do that.

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