2016/17 Final Faculty Meeting…

Finishing the year off a lot more confident with decision making and encouraging progress. I have spent a lot of time reading articles and watching presentations (videos) to support a modernised direction for maths education. Carol Dweck is someone that I was introduced to a few years back, promoting a growth mindset in the classroom, particularly necessary when it comes to maths. But in recent years other professional consultants include Dan Meyer, taking on 3 act math, take up time, and allowing students to think, and be inquisitive. But more importantly this year has been influenced by the work of Jo Boaler from Stanford university. With the push for a mathematics revolution, using number talks, removing the focus from speed and computational skills, with a greater focus on perseverance and thinking.  Moving from traditional teaching methods to more multidimensional classrooms, where students were each engaged in their own learning at different levels. An approach that I was unknowingly playing with when I was teaching in Australia, with the use of capacity matrices, collaboration tasks, self reflection and most importantly, student orientated learning.


Reflecting on the year, progress is off to a good start, but there is still a long way to go. Many parents and students are still very grades driven, and focused on the speed and calculations ability, not the understanding. But we will get there…

Below is the 5 strands of mathematical proficiency that has beed driving our attitudes of how to learn mathematics. Historically there has been a large focus on procedural fluency, the practice of rote learning calculations, which is still a valid skill, but as we progress into a digital world, calculations are just not enough anymore.

An Education revolution is inevitable

A Maths education revolution is inevitable

Why the new blog? For a while now I have been blogging my life experiences via travellearntravelteach.wordpress.Com, and in reality, it is read by friends and family, and anyone else interested in travel, and my every day adventures. But in my professional world, as a teacher, my learnings, failures and successes with my students, was not being documented.. and in these past 2 years, I have had tremendous support to change the face of mathematics, in an attempt to eradicate math anxiety, open the minds of our youth, teach for the future, and let the technology be the calculator.

This blog goes is intended for personal records, colleagues, my PLN and anyone else who wishes to join the education revolution!

In recent years I have been involved in many conversations, conferences and professional development regarding the How to Teach (Pedagogy, strategies etc) and the What to teach (Curriculum development, benchmarks and standards) but I’m now trying to clarify the Why.. why are children being fed the same lifestyle as their great great ancestors of the British Empire over 200 years ago..

“Debate about the purposes of education never seems to end.  Should young people become educated to get prepared to enter the workforce, or should the purpose of education be focused more on social, academic, cultural and intellectual development so that students can grow up to be engaged citizens?” Arthur H. Camins – 2015

Jo Boaler, of Stamford University and youcubed.org is becoming somewhat of an idol of mine. Her experience as both a teacher and an academic researcher, aligns and consolidates my thinking about how to teach mathematics in  schools.
One of the big areas that needs to change, is the requirements of memorising figures then regurgitating them on a timed, standardised test, and to remove the myth that the faster you are at your times tables, the better a mathematician you are.

Humans are a very competitive species, and one that will rarely admit defeat, but we are at a time where we need to… then move on and then play to our strengths.
Computers are faster at arithmetic than any human could ever be, they have a much larger capacity for repetition, memory recall, consistency and obedience than humans, and this will not change in our students lifetime. So let’s turn our energy and enthusiasm towards human strengths and not computer strengths.