Image: MorgueFile http://mrg.bz/CD8zrN
Ah Ha! I knew there was a reason that explained why I suck at Maths. Science now proves it!
According to a study by John Hopkins University researchers
, published last week, preschoolers who demonstrate a strong 'number sense' appear to be born with an inherent ability to do better at a wide range of mathematical skills.
Researchers assessed 200 pre-schoolers. The study focused on this age group wanting a sample not influenced by any prior learning associated with mathematics.
However, the study also acknowledged the question of nature versus nurture in this issue.
"Still in question, of course, is the root cause of the link between number sense and math ability. Do children born with better number sense have an easier time learning to count and to understand the symbolic nature of numbers? Or, is it just that children born with less accurate number sense may end up avoiding math-related activities before they develop competency?" said John Hopkins post-doctoral fellow, Melissa Libertus.
Why I totally sucked at Maths....
Image: Bill Davenport http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lumix2004
When I first started my teacher training, during one of the very first tutorials my tutor asked each of us new would-be teachers if there was a teacher, or teachers, who had made a difference in our life.
As we went round the room, everybody had a positive memory of one of their teachers, and each one, they credited with influencing their own desire to teach.
That tutorial re-inforced for me the responsibility that went with being somebody regularly present in the lives of young people.
My teachers, particularly my high school teachers, made a huge difference in my life. While I may not remember the stuff of curriculum, I do remember individual teachers teaching me many life lessons that have always stayed with me. For example:
I am a gadget girl.
I love my Mac. I love my Kindle. I happily use social media and email to talk with friends and colleagues around the world. I have a mental checklist of all my must-takes whenever I leave the house... phone? Check. iPod? Check? Kindle? You get the idea.... ;-)
I've always been an early-ish adopter of technology. See that photo above? That's what I would have looked like if laptops had been around when I was that young. Same expression on my face and everything. I'm just fascinated by all that technology can achieve, and how it represents the very clever side of mankind.
So, while I no longer fit into the demographic highlighted in the infographic below, I find what it visually represents really interesting - personally and as an educator. I get the close bonds students have with their gadgets, and this connection, I think, is important for teachers to recognise.
In less than two weeks (May 10-12) one million students around Australia will sit for their NAPLAN tests in reading, writing, language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
Poorly ventilated/heated school halls
Stressed out kids..........
Interrupted learning programs and overall disruption.......
There's nothing like a standardised/external test to measure a child's worth, is there?
I know, I know - that is NOT what NAPLAN is *supposed* to be about; the Acara website portrays the national literacy and numeracy test's benefits:
So how come I'm not totally convinced?????