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My week at BCME8

This week I’m contributing to the 8th British Congress of Mathematics Education (BCME). If you’re going, I hope to see you there! (I’ll be there Monday after dinner and Wednesday all day; otherwise it’s a normal teaching week for us.)

I’m involved with three sessions – a fun Maths Jam, a ‘how I used history in my teaching’ workshop and a research talk based on half my PhD. Here are the details:

Mathematics Educators Stack Exchange

There’s a new Stack Exchange site for mathematics educators to ask and answer questions to do with the teaching of mathematics.

To give you an idea of what the site’s for, here are a few interesting questions that have already been asked:

The site is quite US-oriented at the moment because of who’s using it, but it doesn’t specifically exclude non-Americans from its remit.

Visit: Mathematics Educators Stack Exchange

How to Teach Maths by Alex Bellos on Radio 4

Media math-man Alex Bellos has made another programme for BBC Radio 4, this time about How to Teach Maths.

Alex Bellos takes you on a mathematical learning journey from the first stages of number recognition through to an understanding of how children solve sums and calculate answers. On the way he will look at the neuroscience of maths and how our mathematical brain develops. He investigates the scientific evidence behind teaching maths and he’ll compare how modern methods of teaching children differ from those taught to their parents, helping kids today go beyond basic numeracy to develop a passion for numbers.

By the way, Radio 4 have also been repeating Marcus du Sautoy’s enjoyable A Brief History of Mathematics at a quarter to two each afternoon. That’s also available to listen to on the Radio 4 website.

Listen: How to Teach Maths on BBC Radio 4.


Dynamic generation of maths questions

I was recently asked about my MSc dissertation (by someone who may choose to ‘out’ themselves here, but as it was a personal email I won’t name them). In my dissertation, for a Masters degree in computing in 2003-4, I developed a system for pre-processing MathML code using PHP to include pseudo-randomised values in the questions for an e-assessment tool. The title is ‘Asking Questions With MathML: dynamic treatment of XML and pseudo-randomised mathematics assessment’.

The query was from someone who is training to be a maths teacher and is doing some web development. They had seen mention of my MSc dissertation topic on this blog and asked where they could read more about the underlying web technologies. Here, basically, is what I replied.

Education Round Up

Hello. I’m Colin Beveridge and I’m stealing Christian’s round-up introduction, since we’ve had a handful of links of teaching and learning sent our way. Let’s get this show on the road! wiki

Raymond Johnson, a mathematics education graduate student, has started a wiki to “bring greater visibility and connectedness to mathematics education research.”  The blurb on the site’s front page does a good job of explaining itself, so I’ll just repeat it here.