Tagged: Teaching

News Article: Star Maths Pupils in England Two Years Behind Asian Peers By Age 16

This is an unsurprising, though devastating, result.

Our “race to the middle” culture which has been brought about by the measure of success in secondary schools being a broad count of A* – C grades, has unfortunately encouraged teachers to ignore their brightest students, and focus instead on those on the D/C border.

Like a government that might target it’s policies at marginal constituencies, teachers have targeted the  “marginal’ students at the detriment of those children who are sure-fire C’s, B’s or A’s, but who are not yet fulfilling their potential.

Now that attention is being drawn to this problem, let us hope that it will lead to a shift in government educational policy.



Euclid (Book 1, Definition 22)

“Of quadrilateral figures, a square is that which is both equilateral and right-angled; an oblong that which is right-angled but not equilateral; a rhombus that which is equilateral but not right-angled; and a rhomboid that which has opposite sides and angles equal to one another but is neither equilateral nor right angled. And let quadrilaterals other than these be called trapezia.”

Different Types of Quadrilaterals

RECTANGLE is  a four-sided shape with four right angles, and includes:

SQUARE which has four right angles AND four equal sides

OBLONG which has four right angles BUT two pairs of equal sides (not four equal sides)

RHOMBUS is a four-sided shape with four equal sides BUT no right-angles

RHOMBOID is a four-sided shape with two pairs of equal sides, and opposite angles are equal (also a PARALLELOGRAM)

TRAPEZIUM is a  four-sided shape with one pair of parallel sides (called a TRAPEZOID in America!)

TRAPEZOID is a four-sided shape with no parallel sides (called a TRAPEZIUM in America!)

News Article: Plans to Promote Long Division

News Article: Forget Self-Esteem. You Need Compassion

Please see the original article from Harvard Business Review here

Although this article badges itself as a management tip, I would argue that the advice contained is equally, if not more, relevant to the learning process.

Having real self-awareness is better than having self-esteem – if that self-esteem is based on an over-estimation of ourselves. Self-awareness helps us to develop our strengths, and to acknowledge our weaknesses with humility. The self-awareness gives a true sense of what we are capable of.

But the self awareness must be compassionate. Acknowledging weakness does not mean accepting defeat, or labelling ourselves negatively. It is just a starting point, from which we can plan our learning more effectively, and work out the best path to lives that are both fulfilling and enjoyable.

My approach to tuition is weighted heavily towards creating a sense in my students that it is enough to just turn up and try in earnest. Mistakes are a fundamental part of learning. They are the best way to pick up on false assumptions, or misunderstandings, and give tutors and teachers something to work with.

AUDIO: What number comes before infinity? (BBC Education)