Monthly Archives: April 2015

Why this post is wrong and dangerous – response to Mastery Overload

Here, Debra Kidd writes about her concerns with respect to the idea of a mastery curriculum. I should begin by noting that I agree entirely with the sentiment of wanting children to love and enjoy mathematics.  Also, I sympathise with … Continue reading

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What Rote Knowledge Isn’t – A short introduction to inflexible and flexible knowledge

Almost inevitably, when talking about memory and memorisation, the notion of ‘rote knowledge’ came up more than once, but I’ve tended to find that what is meant by ‘rote knowledge’ is rarely well-defined.  I’ve found that people generally have a … Continue reading

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Trigonometry is like a car…

Maybe you should just learn how it can get you from A to B at first…     If you want to understand how that magic machine works, though, you’ll need to take a look under the bonnet and check … Continue reading

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195 Countries – How recall of pairs is NOT the same as recalling a list

There was something that I finally realised was in people’s minds, that I hadn’t intended; it took many conversations before I finally spotted it.  When I talked about ‘memorising all 195 countries, locations and capitals,’ I realised that some people … Continue reading

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This will make you think! What are you really testing…?

If you haven’t heard about it yet, buy this book:   You know very little about how assessments work. We all know very little about how assessments work.  I’ve been astounded by just how much there was to learn from … Continue reading

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195 Countries – The Myth of Ability, and why not everyone can learn them all

This is a good example of how misunderstood memory is.  The idea was famously immortalised in Arthur Conan Doyle’s work: I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with … Continue reading

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Should you be a reflective practitioner?

Yes. Well… sort of. Well yes.  But… I suspect there’s an obstacle to achieving this goal in our rhetoric.  Let me suggest an alternative rhetoric that would achieve the same aim. I learnt long ago now about the distinction between … Continue reading

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