After 20 years as a maths teacher and tutor, Dr Dion Khlentzos, has a clear view of what's necessary for building students' maths skills.
His top five keys to maths success include building on students' prior knowledge, relating maths to their everyday life and strengthening their motivation and belief in their own maths abilities.
He discussed the five keys in an interview on The Learning Capacity Podcast where he commented on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and whether artificial intelligence will reduce the need for many people to understand maths.
Dr Khlentzos also commented on how technology like Zoom and Skype has enabled maths tutoring to be delivered to students who find it hard to attend face to face sessions with a tutor.
Children who are co-operative, socially responsible and helpful in kindergarten achieve higher scores on reading, writing and numeracy tests in primary school, compared with children with less pro-social behaviour.
This is the finding from a 5-year study of more than 52,000 kindergarten students from nearly 2800 schools. The study was led by Dr Rebecca Collie at the University of New South Wales School of Education.
Test scores from the children’s NAPLAN (Australia’s National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy) in 2012 and 2014 were compared for four different social and emotional behavioural profiles observed when they were in kindergarten:Read More
A recent study of 15-year-old students in 60 countries found girls tend to experience higher ‘maths anxiety’ than boys.
This seems to support the clichéd belief – boys are good at mathematics and sciences and girls are good at the more artistic subjects.
The study found the sexes are equal in mathematical capability. But girls have a negative emotional association with STEM subjects. And this holds females back, the study revealed. This results in fewer females than males taking maths programs at university. (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).Read More
For many students, maths is no fun. And it may not have been a pleasant experience at school for their parents either.
Do you have students or a child who doesn’t like maths?
Dr Willis has written a great article for Psychology Today about our attitudes towards maths - maths negativity and maths positivity. In it she listed some common myths about maths:Read More
Maths is not fun......
Most of us easily and naturally use language, but when it comes to maths many people struggle, and find it is not so “natural” to work in numbers or maths concepts. Why is that?
Do we have brains that are wired for language from birth, but not for maths? Or is there such a thing as a “maths brain”? Do some of us have it while some don't, and if we don’t, how do we activate it?
Dr Martha Burns, expert in the neuroscience of learning, author of over 100 journal articles and three books, and Director of Neuroscience Education at Scientific Learning Corporation answered these questions in a conversation on The Learning Capacity Podcast.
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She explains: “One way to think of it is that maths is a different language. It involves a different symbol system.Read More
Emeritus Professor Patrick Griffin, from the University of Melbourne says that NAPLAN should test more than just literacy & numeracy.
Speaking on The Learning Capacity Podcast, Professor Griffin commented on the NAPLAN 2015 results and said that the 4C's (communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity), as well as collaborative problem solving, are essential skills that our students need to participate in the knowledge economy. And these should be tested by NAPLAN.
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With NAPLAN testing scheduled to go partly online in 2017, that would create an opportunity to widen the testing to the 4Cs, he suggested.
What is targeted teaching? Does it produce better student outcomes? How do you implement it in your school?
The answers to these questions are included in a new report titled "Targeted Teaching: How Better Use of Data Can Improve Student Learning", from the independent think tank, the Grattan Institute.
Dr Pete Goss, Director of the Institute's School Education Program, spoke to The Learning Capacity Podcast about the report.
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"When we build a student's Learning Capacity by using appropriate, validated neuroscience-based brain training exercises, is this the same as accelerated learning?"
An educator, who had read our blog, NAPLAN 2015: How Fast is it Possible to Improve Literacy & Numeracy? asked this question recently. She was concerned about possible negative consequences for students who are pushed too hard to accelerate their learning, and wondered if improving the students' ability to learn could 'backfire'.
She said,"Unfortunately people consider ‘accelerated’ learning to be the answer to poor student performance. But this is counterproductive in the long term. I have seen too many students suffer from ‘burnout’ by they time finish high school, because they have been subjected to high performance syndrome and have lost motivation to continue learnng. They have been stretched prematurely".Read More
Teachers do much more than just teach - they build student brains.
This is the message from Dr Martha Burns, professor of communication sciences and disorders at Northwestern University, in a podcast episode on The Learning Capacity Podcast.
Dr Burns discusses the new science of learning, and how it involves educational neuroscience and understanding individual differences in children.
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The publication of Australia’s 2015 NAPLAN results has sparked a multi-sided debate about how we improve student outcomes, particularly in literacy and numeracy.
Robert Randall, head of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) said this year's NAPLAN results showed "that at a national level we are seeing little change in student achievement in these important areas of learning*" (*literacy & numeracy).Read More