Workshops conferences and seminars


I attended the Marang symposium at Wits last Friday which considered ways in which we can judge last years examinations by taking a closer look at the papers and assessment structure. The talks centred around the questions:

  • What do different ways of classifying questions reveal about the relationship between the intended and examined curriculum?
  • What does this reveal about the relationship between the policy documents and practice?
  • What role can taxonomies play in analyzing the standard of the examinations, the spread of mathematical and science activities and what do they reveal about nature of the examinations and the conceptualization of the subjects?

Within our maths literacy community , one of the most often expressed concerns is about thinking levels (cognitive levels of taxonomy). And as such this meeting and the speakers illuminated just how difficult and subjective it is to pin it down. There were a general call for more examples of the different level questions and more problem solving higher order questions instead of more difficult levels of caluclation questions.

Prof Hamsa Venkat kicked off by discussing a critique of  the Mathematical Literacy assessment taxonomy. Lynn Bowie looked at it from a mathematics point of view and also examined different taxonomies. Arnout (always entertaining) then did a summary and his take on the issues and perspectives by providing a critique, not only on the two papers, but also on assessment practices regarding maths and maths literacy in general. You can (must)  listen to the actual podcasts of the sessions, by clicking here

Hamsa’s presentation (View while listening to her podcast- sorry I ahve not had a chance or had the energy to link it):

Lynn’s presentation: (View while listening to her podcast):

Our photo album:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Marang symposium", posted with vodpod

You are cordially invited to join us to mark Marang’s fourth year of innovation and leadership in Mathematics and Science Education in South Africa.

Friday, 9th October 2009, 15:00 – 17:00, followed by drinks and refreshments

Venue: Staff Room, Wits Education Campus (formerly JCE)

RSVP: Samantha Govender
samantha.govender@wits.ac.za
(011) 717 3414

At the end of 2008 South African school leavers wrote the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations for the first time. These examinations are based on the new National Curriculum Statement (NCS) and are high stakes examinations as they are used to determine, amongst other things, entry into tertiary institutions. In all its statements, the new curriculum was visionary, aiming to fulfil the aims of the South African Constitution by establishing a democratic and just nation. The first cohort of learners completed this new curriculum in 2008 and so it is appropriate at this point in history to reflect on this curriculum and its assessment.

This Marang symposium will consider how we judge the examinations through a closer look at the examination papers and assessment structure. Marang members will lead discussions in separate mathematics and science sessions on these as they relate to mathematics, mathematics literacy, life sciences and physical sciences on the following questions. Two respondents, one for maths and one for science will then provide reflections in a plenary session.

The following questions will be addressed in the symposium:

1.What do different ways of classifying questions reveal about the relationship between the intended and examined curriculum?

2.What does this reveal about the relationship between the policy documents and practice?

3.What role can taxonomies play in analyzing the standard of the examinations, the spread of mathematical and science activities and what do they reveal about nature of the examinations and the conceptualization of the subjects?

Respondents:

Aarnout Brombacher (Brombacher & Associates)
Aarnout Brombacher is a leading mathematics education consultant who has been centrally involved in national developments in Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy. He is a prominent commentator on both maths and maths literacy issues and a frequent visitor to Marang.

In my efforts to get more teachers (especially maths and lit teachers) to blog, twitter and embrace 21st century learning tools, I am having a free ONLINE (jip you can do it from anywhere provided you have internet access) un-workshop during the whole of August.

For more info and to register (20 people max) go here http://learnwithmaggie.ning.com/page/blogtwit-workshop-4-august-3

For reasons and examples on why you should be dabbling with social media tools in the classroom, see my Amesa conference slideshare here: http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/maggiev-220100-social-media-mathematics-class-teacher-school-classroom-socialmedia-amesa2009-july-education-ppt-powerpoint/ (Ps you can download it from there as well and go through it like a tutorial)

The aim of the workshop is for teachers to create and maintain a
focussed blog while supporting one another using twitter. We
will use twitter as our main communication channel and explore how
it can help us to do advocacy for our blog, get quick ideas and
discover the learning magic! This way we should be able to get into
the habit of “blog-twitting” and also explore how we can use it in
all aspects of our lifes, organisations,schools. The blog can be a
personal blog, school blog, class blog or a organisational blog! I
will endeavour to facilitate your journey through little steps in a
supported way, helping you over the nitty gritty little thingies of
blogging, widgets, gadgets and twittering. Hopefully we will evolve
as strong learning partners with functional blogs!! The first week
will be dedicated to twitter-ing and getting comfortable with the
notion of blogging.

Too much????!!!!

Level: Beginner blogger/twit

Skills needed: Basic computer skills (you can type (even if it
is with 1 finger) e-mail, cut and paste and navigate your way
around the internet!

Important skill: Perserverence and a longing to learn and
have fun!

Number of participants: 20 max

Cost:Free online

Tools to use: Twitter, WordPress/edublogs, various other
widgets form photosharing sites, polls, google docs….

To make a commitment and register for this workshop, go and complete the form here: http://learnwithmaggie.ning.com/page/blogtwit-workshop-4-august-3

As there are a lot of confusion regarding the interpretation of quartiles and percentiles in the Maths litetacy class, Jackie was on hand at the Amesa conference to guide us with some ideas…

Social media (web 2.0 tools) presents lots of oppotunities for the maths/maths literacy teacher. In this workshop presentation for my workshop on how to use web 2.0 tools in the maths/ mathsliteracy classroom, I explore some of the uses for the classroom. It has been designed as a learning  journey with examples and tutorials for those who want to incorporate and learn how other maths teachers are using social media in their classes and for professional development.

The presentation with animation and links can be downloaded from
http://www.box.net/shared/j4kmpdsgip

Here is Jackie’s presentation from the Amesa conference 2009 regarding how we should assess in Maths literacy.

The Mathematical Literacy research thrusmarangt of the MARANG Centre is pleased to invite you to their first research seminar for 2009 entitled:

Developing mathematical thinking by integrating it into all mathematical work
Presenter: Professor Anne Watson

Tuesday, 26 May 2009, 15.00 – 17.00
Venue: M76
RSVP: Samantha Govender
Samantha.govender@wits.ac.za
011 717 3414

During the seminar presentation on Tuesday 26th May Professor Anne Watson from Oxford University in the UK will share details of some of her experiences of working with low attainers in mathematics. Her focus in this work has been on ways of moving beyond the negativity, low self-confidence and historical poor performance of these learners, to finding means to support their mathematical re-engagement. Professor Watson’s seminar will focus on the following:

I assume that the ability to deal with quantity and shape in everyday life depends in part on replacing the confidence which is often lost by failure to learn school mathematics. In this session I will give examples of tasks in school mathematics which draw on, and enhance, students’ thinking. The approaches I shall present make it more likely that students will feel better about mathematics, and at the same time promote confidence in dealing with outside mathematical situations.

The seminar and workshop are aimed at both mathematics and mathematical literacy teachers who are interested in enhancing the work they do with lower attaining learners, and will also be relevant to teacher educators and mathematics education researchers interested in the directions being taken in schools with the implementation of the new FET programme in which all learners now have to take either Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy.

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