Monday, January 18, 2016
Brown Bag Session at Hwa Chong Instittution
I conducted a lunch time session with more than a dozen secondary Teachers at HCI, a school in Singapore. The session was facilitated by Shinglee Publishers.
In the session I raised the issue of routine cognitive skills being increasing less valuable.
The World Economic Forum WEF, as reported in the newspaper this morning, predicted that smart machines will 'displace millions of jobs in the next five years'. 5.1 millions to be exact. This is an urgent message for schools, really.
In the session I shared one way of doing guided practice and assigning independent practice. In the demonstration, we provided that angles at the centre is twice that of the circumference for two cases. Then I asked students to say which tasks in (1) are for the two cases that they had proven. And to prove at least one more case before solving the related problems. I left the technicality of the calculations to the students.
For homework, they were assigned to complete the rest of the page by selecting three "most difficult problems to a lot of people, in your opinion" of the seven available and to solve them in a way that people who have difficulties with them can understand the solution | How to Do Practice
This month, I also conducted a session on activity-based lessons for colleagues at Marshall Cavendish Education.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
But The Children Might Get Confused
Children get confused not because they solve problems in different ways. They get confused if they have the mindset that there is only one way of doing things. Such children get disoriented when they see a different way of doing things.
Children who have been immersed in a learning environment that promotes open-mindedness (agree to listen to but do not need to agree with friends) and flexible thinking grow up to be, well, open-minded and flexible. These children are not easily confused they listen to different ways to solve a problem.
In any case. We cannot afford for children to grow up and not able to take different perspectives.
In a class we had on Saturday, we have solved a problem on finding the maximum number of adults in a queue (a line) of 110 people where there were at least three teenagers between any two adults. They were trying to be the first to get iPhone 6, you see. The main method was to divide 110 by 4 and all was well although there was a little issue on interpretation of the remainder.
The class was invited to see if they can use 110 divided by 5 to solve the problem. Wouldn't children be confused if they are asked to do this? After all they have solved the problem already. Is there value in making them do 110:5 given that 110:4 appears to be more direct?
Slides are available on Ban Har's Facebook Album | Fundamentals of Mathematics Teaching
Photograph | Painting by children at Siam Paragon to celebrate Children's Day
Reporting Academic Research
In this seminar-style course, first and second year masters students studying mathematics education learn a framework to write up academic research
We discuss the purpose and techical aspects of each of these chapters in their thesis (1) introduction (2) literature review (3) methodology (4) findings (5) conclusion and discussion.
We examined a journal article to analyse better ways to communicate research findings for translation into practice.
The secondary message is to collaborate when doing researches that the answers the research unearthed are not just good for a degree but also for making a difference in the classrooms in Thailand and hopefully the world.
There are no presentation slides as this was a seminar style class.
Photograph | One of the many temples in beautiful Chiangmai