Re: [xmca] Help in teaching and learning maths

From: Ed Wall <ewall who-is-at>
Date: Tue Jun 10 2008 - 15:19:50 PDT

Hi Andy

    I didn't see the original of this appear so perhaps it wasn't
intended for public comment. In any case a few comments as I wonder
about all this quite a bit: (1) Mathematics isn't just one thing so
saying a child is having problems leaves open a lot of possibilities
(I know, for example, a number of mathematicians who were not
particularly adept at long division); (2) In this case, someone like
Mike Askew might have a lot to offer (I know him somewhat) as he has
been spending time, once in awhile, in the US worrying about
preparing teachers to teach in the upper elementary grades and has
been taking part in discussions about doing a bit of pre-algebra. (3)
That said, the problem as Nicole puts it, is often the teaching a
child has experienced. Thus her volunteering to intervene is
significant; (4) I have intervened in a number of situations over
time and, when I was most helpful (which wasn't all the time), was
when the 'child' actually took pencil and paper and did, perhaps with
some help, whatever mathematics needed to be done (that, of course,
can be framed in useful and not so useful ways). Mathematics is not,
in a sense, something one mediates or dreams about, it is something
one does (I guess writing is somewhat the same) and the large problem
comes when a child, for whatever reasons, stops or is unable to
continue doing.

Ed Wall

>Hi Andy
>I think i need to know a bit more what her problem is but its my
>thing to work with kids who apparently cant do maths - most of them
>can its just the way they have been taught ...
>I like? Mike's stuff ( he is one of my EdD supervisors) but it is
>primary stuff mostly but good to work with - if your friends wants
>me to he can contact me and i can try and talk to his daughter over
>email and than maybe send him some of my material and that of others
>to work with ..
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Shirley Franklin <>
>To:; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <>
>Sent: Tue, 10 Jun 2008 10:01
>Subject: Re: [xmca] Help in teaching and learning maths
>Hi Andy,?
>Mike Askew is one of the best here in the UK :
>Not being specifically a Maths teacher I m not that familiar with
>his writing.?
>Why not write to him and ask what your brother should read??
>On 10 Jun 2008, at 09:51, Andy Blunden wrote:?
>> 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 +61 3 9380 9435 Skype >
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Received on Tue Jun 10 15:23 PDT 2008

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