Topic: Why do we need to teach mathematics to under 16s?
As it happened on Friday, 28th January 2011 00:00 - 01:00 GMT
12:06 am
ColinTGraham:
Hello everyone. Welcome to #mathchat
12:07 am
ColinTGraham:
We may be having some new members joining us over the next couple of weeks. I'm sure you'll make them welcome! #mathchat
12:09 am
teachingwthsoul:
RT @mathchat: "Why do we need to teach mathematics to under 16s?" #mathchat NOW #ukedchat#edchat #ntchat #gtchat #elemchat #scichat
12:09 am
ColinTGraham:
Today's topic is: "Why do we need to teach mathematics to under 16s?" #mathchat
12:09 am
TheHelpGroup:
@ColinTGraham Hello #mathchat . Glad to be back this week.
12:09 am
ColinTGraham:
@teachingwthsoul Ooh Lisa, you RTer you! #mathchat #ukedchat #edchat #ntchat #gtchat #elemchat#scichat
12:10 am
ColinTGraham:
@TheHelpGroup Hi glad you could join us again! #mathchat
12:11 am
teachingwthsoul:
@ColinTGraham LOL Got to support my PLN and encourage newb Math folks to join you ;) #mathchat#ntchat
12:11 am
republicofmath:
Couldn't we ask why we need to teach anything to under 16's? #mathchat
12:12 am
ColinTGraham:
For first-timers/newcomers, don't try to follow everything or check out URLs, everything will be in the archive. Don't forget--> #mathchat
12:12 am
TheHelpGroup:
Just told sum1 abt PLN's 2day @teachingwthsoul: @ColinTGraham LOL Got 2 support my PLN & encourage newb Math folks 2 join U ;) #mathchat
12:13 am
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath Well, yes Gary, I have to say that fits in with my general views about learning, but since this is #mathchat - we talk maths
12:13 am
republicofmath:
If #mathematics in school is on the table for discussion then why not English, history, geography? #mathchat
12:13 am
Smichael920:
#mathchat some concepts are difficult to 'sell' to children as requirements 4 later life! My son not sure He'll have 2 use algebra again!
12:14 am
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath I think there are two issues here - what should under 16s be doing at school, and is 'mathematics' appropriate...?#mathchat
12:15 am
1SunRisen:
This is a serious question? RT @ColinTGraham: Today's topic is: "Why do we need to teach mathematics to under 16s?" #mathchat
12:15 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham I guess I'm asking why raise the question at all? But yes, at least teach quantitative numeracy, early & often #mathchat
12:15 am
ColinTGraham:
@1SunRisen Yes, it is a deadly serious question, mathematics vs functional numeracy/data handling etc... #mathchat
12:16 am
TheHelpGroup:
Another question: why teach theory to under 16 and not practical #mathchat
12:16 am
ColinTGraham:
@Smichael920 Sometimes you have to be pragmatic, Michael, and say you need it for the exam... not a good response for any subject #mathchat
12:17 am
republicofmath:
What do you mean by "theory" @TheHelpGroup #mathchat
12:18 am
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath It goes to Michael's point about algebra... Mathematicians, Scientists, Engineers may need it, but otherwise...? #mathchat
12:18 am
TheHelpGroup:
@republicofmath I usually just listen to #mathchat , I think answers since have better asked the question I meant.
12:19 am
ColinTGraham:
Numeracy is important... RT @1SunRisen: Makes sense when stated w/ alternatives. Most don't know diff... They just hear "no math". #mathchat
12:20 am
republicofmath:
Teacher I know said we undoubtedly all have limitations. Problem is to know what they are. Who will be scientisit, engineer? #mathchat
12:20 am
fschaeffer:
Re: why teach math to under 16s - learning theory help to give a basis of logic, which is applicable in all parts of life. #mathchat
12:21 am
ColinTGraham:
@1SunRisen Knowing the difference between functional numeracy and mathematics has been lost on a lot of curriculum designers... #mathchat
12:22 am
ColinTGraham:
Ss usually appreciate honest answers too RT @Smichael920... It's not the response u want 2 give but sometimes it's the only option #mathchat
12:23 am
republicofmath:
Could argue why teach grammar cause so many students are so bad at it. Did I say "grammar"? I meant "algebra". Who needs grammar? #mathchat
12:23 am
ColinTGraham:
@fschaeffer The logical thinking and problem-solving approaches we'd like to see, which are part of mathematics, often get lost. #mathchat
12:24 am
fschaeffer:
@ColinTGraham I agree, however I think that problem lies in the way math it taught, both teachers and curriculum. #mathchat
12:24 am
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath Well, a lot of English schools stopped teaching grammar innit and people dont talk proper like 'n all #mathchat
12:25 am
educatedxchange:
Algebra is all about changing your perspective on a problem. Everyone can use that. #mathchat
12:25 am
vmathtutor:
RT @republicofmath: Teacher I know said we undoubtedly all have limitations. Problem is to know what they are. Who will be scientisit, engineer? #mathchat
12:25 am
ColinTGraham:
@fschaeffer It is easy to criticise teaching of mathematics, and some of it is justified/justifiable, main problem is perceptions #mathchat
12:26 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham Their wrong and teacher's should now it! (LOL!) #mathchat
12:27 am
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath The worrying thing is teachers who also have poor grammar and poor numeracy skills and... #mathchat
12:28 am
fschaeffer:
@ColinTGraham Ah yes. Last tweet should have read "some of the problem..." So I guess the question is how do we change perception? #mathchat
12:28 am
EarlSamuelson:
RT @republicofmath: Teacher I know said we undoubtedly all have limitations. Problem is to know what they are. Who will be scientisit, engineer? #mathchat
12:28 am
republicofmath:
@educatedxchange I would say, and have done http://wp.me/pJESd-jD , that #algebra is about arithmetic on names to solve problems #mathchat
12:29 am
ColinTGraham:
@fschaeffer People see doing mental arithmetic fluently as "being good @ maths", people get physically sick at having to do maths #mathchat
12:29 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Under 16s excel if you show them they're capable of learning what most Ss learn in HS & college. #mathchat
12:30 am
republicofmath:
Think kids with active minds would, all things being equal, have natural curiousity about SOME aspects of math. Kids LOVE counting #mathchat
12:31 am
ColinTGraham:
I don't think anyone'd disagree that the average 16yo needs to be able to work confidently with numbers/data on an everyday basis #mathchat
12:31 am
1SunRisen:
@ColinTGraham it wouldn't fit. Lol #mathchat
12:31 am
educatedxchange:
@republicofmath Yes, in a literal sense. Especially if you forget to tell the kids that it's more. #mathchat
12:31 am
fschaeffer:
@mathheadinc Yes. I teach college and make that point constantly. Arithmetic != math. Like spelling != writing a book. #mathchat
12:32 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc In most cases it's sad that so many aspects of mathematics which are comprehensible are "reserved" for mathematicians #mathchat
12:32 am
educatedxchange:
Here's a great essay on the current perspective of math in the educational system: http://bit.ly/i0vhpJ#mathchat
12:33 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham Yes, many people physically ill at thought of engaging with #math (http://wp.me/pJESd-EY ) not to mention maths #mathchat
12:33 am
marcelamomberg:
RT @republicofmath: Think kids with active minds would, all things being equal, have natural curiousity about SOME aspects of math. Kids LOVE counting #mathchat
12:33 am
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath One #math is enough, Gary, without bringing #maths into it! #mathchat
12:34 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Most mathematicians or those w/most skills can't be bothered with or are scared of the little ones. #mathchat
12:34 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham Some colleagues & students at U of Soton thought a 5 point Likert scale was highly "quantitative" #mathchat #numeracy
12:35 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham My bad: math's #mathchat
12:35 am
ColinTGraham:
Let's change the question... what do you think under 16s should be learning about/exploring in the context of a math(s) class? #mathchat
12:36 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham ...or think little ones can't be taught higher math. #mathchat
12:37 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham INQUIRY. Inquiring into patterns, data (especially real life data), numerical relationships #mathchat
12:37 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc I don't think it's a question of teaching higher mathematics. Why not just leave the little ones with questions? #mathchat
12:38 am
ColinTGraham:
Yes, absolutely, get them while they're young! RT @kassiaowedekind: @ColinTGraham Average 6 year old too! #mathchat
12:39 am
educatedxchange:
@ColinTGraham How little are the little ones we're talking about? #mathchat
12:40 am
ColinTGraham:
OK, so Gary is suggesting inquiry - data, patterns, number relationships. What would others see for under 16s in math(s) class? #mathchat
12:41 am
ColinTGraham:
@educatedxchange Mathematical approaches can be introduced pre-school. Cognitive development has to be considered for concepts. #mathchat
12:41 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham Even though I may be exhausted that list was not exhaustive (small margins) #mathchat
12:42 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham There must be SOME answers so they won't get frustrated and quit. Start with questions, lead them to answer. #mathchat
12:43 am
ColinTGraham:
Check out http://bit.ly/eQnqWm Natural Math for approaches to introducing 'mathematics' at elementary age #mathchat
12:43 am
republicofmath:
4 year olds know stuff: cut sausage perp to length, get circle, cut Toblerone get triangle, cut block of cheese, get square #mathchat
12:43 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham If the subject matter is too easy, they'll be insulted and not interested. #mathchat
12:44 am
suburbanlion:
IMO, we should ask Terry Tao what "under 16s" are capable of doing in math & adjust the curriculum accordingly. #mathchat
12:45 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc I think we need to distiguish between answers and responses to ?ns. Kids will accept "very difficult" as a response #mathchat
12:45 am
republicofmath:
Some 4 yr olds know why number on house is same as number on rubbish bin (=trash can) some don't. #mathchat
12:45 am
republicofmath:
@suburbanlion Maybe ask Terry Tao's son? #mathchat
12:46 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham They need to learn processes that lead them to solutions. (more complete than b4 :) ) #mathchat
12:46 am
ColinTGraham:
@suburbanlion To be totally honest, Ryan, I'd like to see all under 16s coming into school with questions they want answered... #mathchat
12:47 am
ColinTGraham:
@suburbanlion In other words a totally student-led curriculum. Many professionals do it for their own PD, why not start early? #mathchat
12:48 am
republicofmath:
Some 5 yr olds can argue about infinity, infinity + 1, infinity plus infinity, and some can't count to 10 #mathchat http://wp.me/pJESd-gJ
12:48 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc For students who want to know an answer, then guide them towards it, but don't make "the answer" a mandatory thing. #mathchat
12:48 am
TheHelpGroup:
RT @ColinTGraham: @suburbanlion In other words a totally student-led curriculum. #mathchat
12:49 am
republicofmath:
I think WE need to pay attention to children's #math development, & focus less on "curriculum". #mathchat Kids first.
12:49 am
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath I would question whether the 5yo understands infinity as a concept... many mathematicians have problems with it! #mathchat
12:51 am
ColinTGraham:
I'd like to see much more discussion, & communication of ideas and approaches to working with number as a requirement under 16yo #mathchat
12:51 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham "Infinity is biggest number there is" "What about infinity plus one?" "No, can't do that" ... http://wp.me/pJESd-gJ #mathchat
12:51 am
ColinTGraham:
RT @suburbanlion: asking questions would be a great start. my point was 16s're capable of doing a lot more than we presently teach #mathchat
12:51 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham That's like mixing the ingredients for a cake and not putting it in the oven. #mathchat
12:52 am
ColinTGraham:
@suburbanlion That was my point earlier, that often the curriculum is holding back genuine mathematical interest in favour of...? #mathchat
12:53 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham Strong sense of #number operations is decent predictor of later success with #algebra #mathchat
12:53 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc Yes or not mixing the ingredients and putting it in the oven and bringing it out half-baked and then icing it! #mathchat
12:55 am
republicofmath:
Problem in early number is very few teachers/parents are aware of children's counting development. Pushing them is destructive #mathchat
12:55 am
ColinTGraham:
I'd like the current mathematics pre-16 (or maybe pre-12 at least) to be called functional numeracy instead. Dump the irrelevancy #mathchat
12:56 am
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath How many mathematicians realize that numbers weren't really defined until about 150 years ago...? Oneness != 1... #mathchat
12:56 am
republicofmath:
Main thing, IMO, is not to rush, not to push kids way beyond development stage, and HAVE FUN!! #mathchat
12:56 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham lol, NASTY! #mathchat
12:56 am
suburbanlion:
@ColinTGraham can we make it "functional numeracy & logic"? too often the latter is neglected #mathchat
12:58 am
ColinTGraham:
@suburbanlion We can make it anything we like, IF perceptions of the relationships between numeracy and mathematics are clear! #mathchat
12:58 am
suburbanlion:
Yes, make #math FUN! RT @republicofmath Main thing is not to rush, not to push kids way beyond development stage, and HAVE FUN!! #mathchat
12:59 am
ColinTGraham:
OK, last five minutes... clearly a stimulating topic today! Any final thoughts on under 16 mathematics lessons? #mathchat
12:59 am
pgraiser:
RT @republicofmath: Could argue why teach grammar cause so many students are so bad at it. Did I say "grammar"? I meant "algebra". Who needs grammar? #mathchat
1:00 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham Pointed out diff between counting numbers & natural numbers in post. Got howls of protest, some from current #mathchat folk!
1:01 am
ColinTGraham:
@republicofmath Well one could count in hexadecimal if one wished, but would 1EF60D be classed as Natural...? ;-) #mathchat
1:02 am
republicofmath:
Respect for student thihking in relation to patterns, space, arrangement. Maybe then students will listen to math teachers. #mathchat
1:02 am
ColinTGraham:
OK, that looks like it's a wrap for today! Thank you all for your contributions, and nice to see some new voices popping up! #mathchat
1:03 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @republicofmath: @ColinTGraham Strong sense of #number operations is decent predictor of later success with #algebra #mathchat
1:03 am
republicofmath:
@ColinTGraham Meant Peano natuual numbers - didn't have space. These are not informal counting numbers #mathchat
1:03 am
ColinTGraham:
We'll be revisiting the topic again on Monday at 20:30 GMT, if you didn't get enough today! Archive will be online shortly! #mathchat
1:03 am
andrecartman:
RT @republicofmath: Respect for student thihking in relation to patterns, space, arrangement. Maybe then students will listen to math teachers. #mathchat
1:04 am
ColinTGraham:
Follow @mathchat to keep updated with topics/voting etc. and add some ideas for future discussions:http://bit.ly/gqjSiX #mathchat