Two great posts on education…

Stimulating and for some provocative reads that bring both intelligence and perspective into the field of education.

Time to Calm The Farm – Schools are not in chaos by Maurie Abraham October 2021

The kids are alright… and they’ll be even better if we actually start planning for a new normal. by Claire Amos October 2021

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The future of Mathematics and Statistics requires computational thinking

  1. The future of mathematics and statistics requires computational thinking.
    Three trends in the future of mathematics and statistics are clear:
    i. the growth in computational resources, both in the capacity of computers to handle
    and process data, and in the expansion of computer-intensive methods in mathematics
    and statistics
    ii. the exponential growth in available data, and the rapid change in access and type
    of available data (big data)
    iii. the increase in interest, understanding, and place of artificial intelligence (AI) in society

Extract from https://www.royalsociety.org.nz/assets/Pangarau-Mathematics-and-Tauanga-Statistics-in-Aotearoa-New-Zealand-Digital.pdf

Interesting report on the state of Mathematics teaching and learning in NZ. Sobering reading. Teachers experience poor math skills daily, simple percentage calculations are beyond many year 9 students (and even senior students). Computation thinking incorporated into Digital Technologies is on the decline. I doubt if some schools will even teach it in a few years time. At WEGC numbers taking computing have declined such that only a part time computing teacher is required, there used to be 2-3 teachers! As the report suggest this will have grave consequences for NZ as a nation in the future.

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Year 10 market day

Display for sale
Necklace, Calming mist spray, Quotes on cards, Keyring with lightbulb and origami

Year 10 market day at East was a great success. This was the culmination of work involving teams developing and implementing a business plan incorporating product design, development, pricing and promotion. Students undertook a role of CEO, Operations, Advertising or Finance Manager. They provided the capital, organised a float and after market day did an Income statement and distribution of profit or loss to shareholders.

I purchased one item from each of my classes. I plan to test the “Calming Mist Spray” next term on some of my classes.

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Exam deja vu

Exams in the hall 2021… First time I have supervised this style of exam since becoming a teacher 10 years ago. Not much has changed since I sat in a secondary school hall following a similar process…

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Where’s the school vaccine bus?

We have over 1,100 students eligible for the COVID19 vaccine. A few have had it, many have not. Some even tell me their parents don’t want them to have the vaccine – but they will get it anyway.

Permission slips are not required so why delay? Just send a bus to the school and start the process. Does Min Ed have to give the OK?

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1948 Poliomyelitis Epidemic

Source WEGC Memnonian 1948, supplied by colleague
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Student masks – what masks?

Masks are recommended for secondary school students. I could count the number of masks that I saw on students today on one hand.

Making them compulsory would have been a waste of time in my opinion – what are we going to do? send them home, call the Police, restorative chat, ring home…

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Does not compute

Robot Lost in Space

NZQA indicates that students should spend 10 hours per credit including assessment.

A 6 credit course implies 60 hours study including assessment. 4 credits 40 hours.

Typically one 4-6 credit topic per term, say 10 weeks.

We get a gross of 3 hours 50 mins per week, the net would be 3 hours at best.

Max of 30 hours for a 4 or 6 credit course does not add up.

There is a shortfall.

Students do not do homework.

And under some college pandemic guidelines students do a maximum of 2-3 hours per week for a subject.

All that does not compute…

So they all get stressed and cram the assessment with incomplete knowledge.

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No video for no reason

Two aspects that have repeated themselves from previous lockdowns:

  • Poor attendance at Google Meet, typically less than 50% especially if meeting is held before 10:00am
  • Most students do not enable videos. They can select their own background so home privacy is hardly an excuse.

All in all this makes for an unsatisfying teaching experience and usually a short one.

All of which will lead to less engagement, low productivity and underperforming students possibly increasingly anxious students as exam approach.

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Supermarket at Red Rocks Reserve?

Outside Te Kopahou Visitor Centre, Island Bay

I did not realise there was an essential service necessitating essential travel to the Red Rocks Reserve. Learn something new every day.

PS We were on foot.

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