Disability? Re: [xmca] Help in teaching and learning maths

From: Shirley Franklin <s.franklin who-is-at dsl.pipex.com>
Date: Tue Jun 10 2008 - 06:39:26 PDT


We are touching on interesting ground here, if we describe a problem
in getting maths as a disability.

There is what I think is a very dodgy notion of discalculia, which
implies there is something wrong with the brain.

Problems with Maths I think can relate to a variety of factors.
Thinking that you cant, and being around other maths-phobic people
can promote maths phobia!

Teaching out of the zone also promotes maths failure. But then
establishing where the zpd is is what is important.

Valerie Walkerdine wrote a lovely piece on how kids can get stuck in
the metaphor that is used to teach Maths, rather than the metonym,
the concept. For eg I always think of quarters (the metonym) as juicy
pieces of chocolate cake (the ,metaphor). So learning how to teach
Maths means being able to effectively use metaphors to teach the
abstract metonym. (ref: Walkerdine, V. (1982):'From Context to Text:
a psychosemiotic approach to abstractthought' in M. Beveridge,
(ed.), Children Thinking Through Language. Arnold .)

I think with Andy's niece she needs an I CAn approach ,as a starter!
And fun stuff that shows how she uses Maths in her everyday life.
Then showing how what she uses can be developed to become a bit more
complex, and used in other contexts...

So this is me thinking on the spur of the moment, cos I love teaching
Maths. I think most kids here these days are not phobic, unless there
is a language problem.

Please do not medicalise or label having a difficulty with Maths!
Analyse what the problem is and make Maths fun!

Hope this is mildly helpful

On 10 Jun 2008, at 14:16, Hallam,Teresa A wrote:

> Andy,
> Here are a couple of general articles about math difficulties and
> suggestions for remediation. There are a list of references at the
> end of the second article. My daughter had similar problems at
> about that age and struggled with it into adulthood. However, she
> now loves statistical analysis with the help of computer software
> and is getting her PhD in Political Science.
> Teresa A. Hallam, PhD
> University of Akron
> thallam@uakron.edu
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-
> bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
> Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 4:51 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; Peter Blunden
> Subject: [xmca] Help in teaching and learning maths
> I need help from some of you briliant educaitonalists out
> there. This is help of a personal not a professional kind.
> My brother, Peter, has a very bright 13 year old daughter,
> Marissa, who wants a science career and is bright enough to
> have gained entry to the elite public school in Sydney, but
> she flunks maths. Like so many people I have known over the
> years, she just doesn't get it. 99/100 for any other
> subject, 40/100 for maths.
> Peter will do anything to solve this problem. He is no fool,
> but had architecture training and is a GIS systems person,
> not a teacher. Just a father, not a teacher.
> I promised that I would find him an article which a
> non-academic could understand that would help him help
> Marissa "get" maths. I would help, but I live 1000km away.
> Does anyone have a URL for something he could read which
> would help? Or any little tips?
> with thanks
> Andy
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --
> Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435
> Skype andy.blunden
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Received on Tue Jun 10 07:19 PDT 2008

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