Fraction division | Greg Ashman

Everyone knows how to divide fractions, right? You just flip-and-multiply. So Simple. Unfortunately, although this will enable you to solve problems all day long, it is an example of a procedure performed ‘without understanding’ and so that is bad. If you know that means the same as “two divided by nine” then I can demonstrate … Continue reading Fraction division →

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Should maths lessons relate to students’ everyday lives? | Greg Ashman

Educational progressivism, when applied to the teaching of mathematics, has a number of different names. We may describe it as ‘reform’ maths, giving a nod to the role of the 1989 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards in the U.S., or we may call it ‘constructivist‘ maths, emphasising the fact that adherents like to … Continue reading Should maths lessons relate to students’ everyday lives? →

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Thinking critically about Jair Bolsonaro | Greg Ashman

What is your opinion of Jair Bolsonaro? If you know who Bolsonaro is then you will already have constructed a schema involving him and the things you know about him. When you read his name, that schema will be activated and I predict that you will find an opinion within easy reach. If you don’t … Continue reading Thinking critically about Jair Bolsonaro →

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Do timed tests cause maths anxiety? | Greg Ashman

We all know that students will sometimes become anxious when faced with a school test. Part of our role as teachers is to mitigate this anxiety. We should avoid talking about tests in a way that heightens their perceived importance and instead stress the role they play in learning. Personally, I often frame tests as … Continue reading Do timed tests cause maths anxiety? →

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Who should decide what is best for students with special educational needs? | Greg Ashman

There was a recent attempt at school-shaming on Twitter*. School-shaming occurs either as the result of a newspaper article, perhaps about a headteacher clamping down on a school uniform, or, as in this case, when someone feverishly scrolls through a school’s website, looking for things they disagree with. School-shamers then take to Twitter to denounce … Continue reading Who should decide what is best for students with special educational needs? →

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Your role in changing education research | Greg Ashman

Education research can lack relevance. It often takes a postmodern and slightly silly stance, closely related to what the recent ‘Sokal Squared‘ hoaxers refer to as ‘grievance studies’. Not only does such research lack relevance to teachers, there is growing evidence that the whole identity politics project leaves the public at large pretty cold. As … Continue reading Your role in changing education research →

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Should we scrap standardised testing? | Greg Ashman

From 1997 to 2010, I taught in the UK. During this period, my 16-year old students completed GCSE exams and my 18-year-old students sat A-Levels. In fact, due to the modular nature of these exams at the time, students sat them continuously through a period spanning the ages 15 to 18. Until 2008, 14-year-old students … Continue reading Should we scrap standardised testing? →

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