January 2018 Edition: What’s News In Education?
Mathematical Feasts, Report Cards & the Twitter Thread of the Year
January is a wonderful time for reflection and existential questioning. These articles give precisely that:
What’s the number one unexpected wow moment you had when learning maths? Check out other people’s responses in this lively twitter thread.
There’s something special about symmetry in mathematics, from geometry to algebra to number properties and beyond. Read on.
Pedagogy and practice:
Let’s talk teacher education:
On the topic of play…
What’s the difference between checking for knowledge and understanding? Why does this distinction matter? And how do you assess for understanding? Read on.
What’s stopping more women from getting into STEM careers? According to the CIO of Tabcorp, maths should be made more fun, general maths courses at a senior level should be compulsory, and greater parental education on career possibilities is required. The missing piece here though, is making changes to the STEM-industry itself so that it’s more attractive to women. What are your thoughts?
Chances are, the name Eddie Woo is not new to you. The YouTube-ing maths teacher has just been named Australia’s Local Hero. Listen to or read the speech he gave in his Australia Day Address.
Teacher, Karen Nottingham, on the challenges schools face and the policy implications: “ I started my working life in the Australian Regular Army in the mid ’90s and I did a stint as a police officer in far north Queensland. … But, I’ve got to admit, teaching high school in the suburbs of Sydney is a tough gig.”
What do St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School and Dapto High School in N.S.W. have in common? They are the first two Australian schools to be powered solely by renewable energy.
The CSIRO is partnering with Victoria’s Tech Schools to “help develop new Tech School programs, offer specialist expertise and, where possible, provide access to CSIRO equipment, researchers and educators”.
Schools of Opportunity is a project that recognises “public high schools [in America] that work to close opportunity gaps by creating learning environments that reach every student.” Here are the 2017 awardees.
What better way to celebrate the end of 2017, than with an Education Pop Quiz? Go on, I’m not stopping you.
And now, looking ahead in 2018, what can we expect in education policy? Read on.
Some N.S.W. news:
Well-being grants are being provided to Principals in the N.T., as part of the N.T. Principal Well-being Framework which was launched in 2017.
What does the year ahead look like for Principals in S.A.? Read on.
The minimum ATAR needed to study undergraduate teaching in Victoria has been raised to 65. Previously, the ATAR needed for some education courses had been as low as 30. This year has seen a 22% decline in the number of first-round university offers made.
In late 2017, the W.A. Government announced budget cuts to education including closing down the School of The Air. Following a backlash, this decision has now been reversed.
An online guide with key links to school education sites relating to policy, funding, data and government departments is now available thanks to the Parliament of Australia.
An incredible amount is spent each year by Australian families with children at private schools. Of 500 families surveyed in a recent study, only half are paying for fees using disposable income. See the chart on left for a breakdown of how parents pay for fees.
U.K. & elsewhere: Results from a survey of 20,000 primary school children internationally examines children’s career aspirations and the influential role played by gender stereotypes, socio-economic backgrounds and by TV, film and radio.
U.S.A.: The United States is ranked 35th out of 40 O.E.C.D. nations in addressing child poverty. However, two recent actions by Congress are not helping to turn this around.
The World: The World Bank has released its first ever report focusing on education. A critique by Pasi Sahlberg suggests that its analysis falls short in “ its use of the human capital view to analyze teachers’ work; its narrow view on teacher policies; and the mixing of facts and myths about Finland.”
What’s the attrition rate for early career teachers in Australia? Well, funny you should ask…
“Quoting a single, overall proportion of attrition suggests that it is possible to have an overview of the entire teaching population. …It would be disingenuous to claim that any single figure could refer to teachers leaving the profession because data are available which show that teachers move between states and sectors, and also leave and return”.
2018 isn’t just the year, it’s a number with so much mathematical meaning…
“ [T]he simple problems I like don’t require much background to get into them. I like things where I can just start working. I’m impatient….I like to just get my hands dirty and start right away.” — mathematician Richard Schwartz.
On the mathematics of decision making:
Science that’s not to be missed: #1 Ice-diving drones are setting out on a risky Antarctic mission. #2 Carbon dioxide emissions from lighting were reduced by about 570 millions tons in 2017 thanks to LEDs. #3 Lithuania gave Pope Francis a nanoscale 3D printed nativity scene for Christmas. Just wow. #4 There’s a new dinosaur in town, and it’s 60 million years old. The Mansourasaurus was recently discovered by palaeontologists from Mansoura University in Egypt. #5 If you love maps or the Apple vs. Google debate, this is for you. #6 Is there a difference between female and male brains? Here’s what neuroscience research says.
Ok, so I’ve saved one of the best pieces of news til last: a NEW PRIME NUMBER has been discovered. It has more than 23m digits. That’s not 23 digits — but 23 million digits. Oh, and it was found by Jonathan Pace, a 51-year old electrical engineer from Tennessee as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search. My pleasure.
Interested in learning more about Maths Pathway? We’d love to organise a demo at your school.