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Showing posts from 2011

Some Clarity about Confusion

I have seen a number of articles/videos over the last wee while that have really helped to clarify my thinking about the difference between how learners feel about their learning experiences and how effectively they are actually learning.

Interleaved Practice

Research seems to suggest that if you ask learners to do a mixture of problems after a teaching episode rather than doing lots of practice of the type of problem they have been taught about, they feel more confused and perform worse on the day, but when they are given a test a week later they drastically outperform those who stuck to the one type of problem during the original lesson (The Effects of Interleaved Practice, Taylor and Rohrer 2009).

Facing Misconceptions

Derek Miller showed learners a video about gravity and motion.  Learners judged the video to be clear and easy to understand, but the video completely failed to correct their misconceptions, and their performance in a post-video test was virtually the same as in the pre-…

Khan Academy and a Heretical Thought

[disclaimer]This is a ramble, full of internal inconsistencies, born of a weary mind.  I post it into the ether like fresh meat thrown to a pack of wolves - go ahead and tear it to shreds![/disclaimer]

I guess you all know about Khan Academy.  If not: it's one man's collection of 2100 video lectures on maths, science, finance and more - all freely available.  In maths, it purports to provide a full progression from the basics of counting and place value up to some areas of university maths.

Bill Gates has endorsed it, whilst many educators are throwing their hands up in horror.

A heretical thought that popped into my head today.    What if young people decide one day that they want to spend all of the limited amount of time they devote to maths actually learning how to do maths instead of learning how to collaborate effectively, design bridges, play Mario Kart, be good time-keepers, produce presentations or whatever latest thing might be? And what if they then start using Khan Ac…

Scottish Mathematical Council Conference Brain Dump

Here are some facts/actions/ideas I jotted down at the conference.  Some are  from speakers, some are ideas that occurred to me as I listened:

Learning Together Maths with Graeme Logan


exploratory talk is an important feature of good practice in maths lesssons
I could do a weekly email to all staff listing main numeracy skills being learned in maths each week in S1/S2
key changes in CfE for maths include more “uncertainty”, impact and history and problem solving as a tool across maths
reformat self assessment traffic light sheets as mind maps/trees to show structure of LIs
good Learning Outcomes do not confuse learning with activity
outstanding LIs include what, how and why (revisited in plenary)
LIs can be verbal
Scottish survey of numeracy  is coming in May
AFL is critical to CfE - don’t be afraid to revisit it in CPD
Developing/Consolidating/Secure should NOT be used about individual E&Os, and were not designed for tracking/target setting


New National 4/5 Maths Qualifications with Mr Topp…