I Got My Lunchbox …

Warning: Occasional foul language when appropriate.

I was 13 when I decided school was a prison. As I read my way through the classics of sci-fi – from Asimov’s ‘Foundation‘, through to Phillip K Dick’s ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?‘, wending my way through Heinlein, Herbert and Clarke, – I learned about social structures. And I learned more by finding and reading works like Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince‘, Bernard Shaw’s ‘Man and Superman‘, and even the mad absurdity of ‘Waiting for Godot’. And in my 13-year-old mind, I started to put together a theory of social conditioning.

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Derailed by ‘Le Grande Project’

You know, I had a post planned for Christmas. I had it half-written. All I needed was an hour or so to polish it off….and then wham!

We were derailed by ‘Le Grande Project’. You see, we’d been asking the kids, particularly C, ‘what do you want for Christmas?’ for a while now. And received the dreaded shrug. Variations on ‘is there anything you really want?, elicited similar responses….until three days before Christmas. Yes. Three Days. That was when he wrote his letter to Santa. And oh boy, what a letter. Go have a look at it. Go on. It’s no particle accelerator, but – oh boy!
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I don’t want to teach my kids maths, I want my kids to LIVE Maths

Fractal Frost pattern, Wikimedia Commons

This is a post in response to Penelope Trunk’s post on not teaching Maths, as well as the many, many comments on the blog. It made me sad. It made me think. And it reinforced for me the idea that the maths taught in school is – the wrong maths.

It’s a discussion that you will hear whenever you get a group of mathematicians together. The things that inspire, that make you go ‘wow!’ are the things you never see in school.

Imagine for a moment that learning english was taught only through reading ‘Terms and Conditions on Contracts‘. Worthy and useful, perhaps. But you never saw poetry. There was no mention of Shakespere, and the idea of a story or novel was incomprehensible to your teachers. Who would ‘love’ english after 13 years of that? Why would you want to know how to read?
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