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Teaching, Mathematics and Teaching Math.

Archive for May, 2010

International Comparisons of Maths Teachers

Posted by forumjoe on May 19, 2010

I’ve been doing lots of thinking about things like blogging.  I read a few other people’s teaching blogs, and it always seems that they have so much TIME.  Maybe it’s because I’m new to the profession, but I don’t see many Australian teachers blogging about their work to the same extent as British and US.  It got me wondering about the sorts of hours they put in to different roles.  US teachers talk about office hours where they are there for their students to come and ask questions, and this gets used a lot more than my similar time here.  I’d really like someone to describe a typical day of a US Teacher to me to make the survey more appropriate.

So, I’m going to pose a questionairre that I’d like responses to.  I’ve got three weeks Winter Break coming up, so I’ll be able to collate the results if I get enough information.  First I’d like feedback on my questions though.  Don’t answer these questions, just tell me if you think I’ll get valid data, or if I need to clarify things before I publish.  I’ll post a Google.Docs survey when I nail down the questions.

A Survey for Full-Time maths teachers around the world

Country:

Ages Taught*:

How many different class groups do you teach?

Per week, how many hours are you in class, teaching students?

Per week, how many hours are you at school for?

Per week, how many hours do you spend on Pastoral Care?

Per week, how many hours do you spend in staff meetings?

Using keywords, what else do you do in your school time not covered above?

Per week, how many hours do you spend at home marking or preparing?

Per week, how many hours do you spend reading/writing/contributing on the Internet with other teachers?

Any parts of your job that you feel important that aren’t covered above?

Any other comments?

*The Primary/Secondary schooling divide is different for countries, and “7th grade” means different things in different countries, so I’d rather get the range of ages taught as a more comparable metric.

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Steven Strogatz's Opinionator – NY Times

Posted by forumjoe on May 18, 2010

I’ve just spent an evening reading and re-reading Steven Strogatz series of Opinionator editorials in the new york times: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/category/steven-strogatz/

I’m absolutely amazed at Strogatz’s ability to explain complex mathematical topics in a way that is understandable by most adults.  The links he provides in his notes sections go to incredible websites that provide hours of enjoyable and informative perusing.  The sort that makes me feel happy about reading about Maths at 10pm at night.

I really wish I could find a way to make my kids read these articles and understand them, but I’ve realised that’s impossible.  By definition, if I show my students an article, they will think it’s boring maths and switch off straight away.  Maybe if I print them out and get the students to paste them to the back of the cereal packet?

Posted in Teaching | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »