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Archive for December 2019

Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's podcast I speak to Professor Paola Valero from Stockholm University about the political aspects of teaching in general and of teaching mathematics in particular. Professor Valero was in Ireland as a keynote speaker at the 2019 Mathematics Education in Ireland conference, which was held in Dublin City University in October.

This podcast will be of interest to anyone who likes to stand back from their teaching and think about the why, what and how of their work. Among the topics we discuss in the podcast are:

  • The difference between teacher knowledge and researcher knowledge and why both need to work together
  • Responsibilities of researchers (in education)
  • Relevance of her work on the politics of mathematics education for teachers
  • Why teachers’ work is inevitably political, whether or not that is acknowledged
  • How can teachers become more aware of their political stance (from 12’06”)
  • What it means to be a teacher-intellectual
  • What is political specifically in mathematics education
    • Working with powerful and empowering knowledge
    • It is a desired area of competence/it is highly valued
    • Mathematics is widely assessed
  • A brief history of how the status of mathematics in schools evolved
  • How less was expected of girls in mathematics education
  • The experience of learning mathematics for immigrants and people with disabilities
  • How teachers can respond to the political nature of mathematics

She recommended the work of Ole Skovsmose and in particular the chapter he co-wrote with Lene Nielsen, Critical Mathematics Education.

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's podcast I am joined by author Dave Rudden who created the Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy. Dave talks about his own writing, about teaching writing to adults and children and he discusses the bullying that was a feature of his life in post-primary school. The specific topics discussed on the podcast are:

  • How he began writing Knights of the Borrowed Dark as a college assignment
  • The premise of the series
  • Who the audience for the books is
  • His experience in the classroom and what attracts him to writing
  • His school visits
  • His writing practice
  • How he learned to write and what teachers can do to help children learn to write
  • Getting into drama and theatre to overcome shyness
  • Getting into live storytelling in Dublin and moving onto writing short stories and then to a Masters in Creative Writing
  • Why Terry Pratchett is a role model
  • He also likes Irish authors Sarah Maria Griffin, Deirdre Sullivan, Catherine Doyle.
  • The benefits of doing a masters course in creative writing
  • Why you don’t have to do a masters course to be a successful writer
  • Differences in teaching writing to children and adults
  • How teachers can teach children to write
  • Explaining why words are weapons, writing is a muscle, and you don’t have to get it right first time
  • The recipe for a character
  • The recipe for a plot
  • Stretch Goals
  • What schools are for
  • How teachers can support children who experience bullying
  • A teacher who had a significant impact on him
  • Who or what inspires him
  • A favourite book or writer or blog about writing: Chuck Wendig, On Writing by Stephen King
  • Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech: Make Good Art

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

This week's podcast is a solo episode in which I riff on the topic of homework. Your feedback and thoughts on the topic and on the podcast are welcome as always.

Among the topics mentioned on the podcast are the following:

  • Is time spent on school homework a good return on investment?
  • Overview of podcast
  • Why teachers give homework
  • The Goldilocks principle and setting tasks for students, both in class and for homework
  • Why research on homework can be problematic
  • Lessons from research that can help children benefit from doing homework
  • The “Matthew Effect” in homework
  • Acquiring the habit of doing homework
  • Image of rider, elephant and path from the books Switch and The Happiness Hypothesis. I also drew on ideas from Atomic Habits in the podcast.
  • Questions to ask your child about homework
  • Teaching your child strategies for doing homework
  • How teachers can make homework more interesting for children
  • When parents and teachers provide contradictory information for children
  • Study strategies teachers can teach children

 

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