Thursday, 9 September 2010
1 + 1 = 2
Mathematics - university/nursery school level.
This is clearly an extremely advanced level mathematical course, focusing on the Peano axioms for the natural numbers which formalised mathematics in the late 19th century. This course would culminate with Gödel's second incompleteness theorem which shows that the consitency of the Peano axioms cannot be formalised within Peano arithmetic itself.
Alternatively, it could be that the pupil, even at her advanced age, hasn't grasped that 1 + 1 = 2, and that all the after school one-to-one lessons in the world aren't going to work. Indeed, she probably won't even understand what 'one-to-one' means.
8/10 - loses two marks for 'math'.
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
- NO EBOniCS
- NO SLAnG
- NO tArDineSS
- NO GUM
- NO tALKinG
- QUiZ EVERY FRiDAY
English - college level.
Ms Prince is setting her stall out early in this introductory course with a list of unacceptable behaviour in her class. Classroom discipline is extremely important to prevent disruption to other students, and also to encourage an individual work ethic. Few would argue with rules against tardiness, gum and talking. Regular assessment is also important for both teacher and pupil, but there are other ways of doing this than a weekly quiz.
"No slang" is a more controversial statement for an English teacher. Language, especially English, is a living, breathing thing. Where would classics from Ullyses to Trainspotting be without their coined words and vernacular language? Of course formal English is important, but even, some would say especially, an introductory English course should look at the differences between types of English and their appropriate uses.
"No ebonics" is an even more controversial statement for what is presumably an ethnically diverse cohort. Ever since Brown v Board of Education declared separate public schools for black and white children unconstitutional in 1954, educators have been divided over the use of African American Vernacular English. Some see it as socially limiting and to be eliminated, whilst others recognise it as a language in its own right, to be incorporated into the teaching of black children. Poe, Melville and Twain have all used AAVE - handled correctly it could be a very interesting and inclusive project to study its use.
Handwriting could be much improved, especially for an English teacher. There seems to be a bizarre mixture of upper and lower case. Of course, great artists break the rules, and non-standard capitalisation can be used to great effect, but on an introductory course perhaps this is one rule that shouldn't be broken.
6/10 - more detail needed.
Monday, 26 April 2010
2x + 3 = 9
x = /2 [or 12?]
Mathematics - simple algebra.
The handwriting is large and generally clear, even though this class appears to only have one student in it, and he sits at the very front. It might be worth advising the student to have his eyes tested if he is unable to read smaller text at this distance. Remember that poor learning may be as a result of poor vision - the student might not even be aware that he has a problem. If the teacher does keep her handwriting that size she will have to get a bigger whiteboard when she starts doing quadratic equations. Finally, when writing algebraic equations, it is preferable to do a more cursive x for the unknown symbol, to avoid confusion with a multiplication sign.
Unfortunately, the answer is unclearly written - is it 2? 12? 1/2? Whichever of these it is meant to be, it is wrong. Here is the correct calculation:
2x + 3 = 9
Subtract 3 from both sides:
2x = 6
Divide both sides by 2:
x = 3
Given the differences in handwriting in the '2's though, it is possible that the teacher left the answer blank for the student to fill in, and is pointing for him to return to his desk. Either way, it is better to show one's working, so that if an error is made, but followed by correct calculations, the examiner may still give marks for the later parts of the answer, even if incorrect.
5/10 - could do better.
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
IMPERIAL RUSSIA 3271
MAIN STUDY QUESTION -
AS TIME PASSES, THE RUSSIAN IDEAL OF
GOVERNMENT UNDERWENT A RADICAL SHIFT
DESCRIBE THAT SHIFT & ALL ASPECTS
History - A-level standard or higher. Two blackboards shows that a lot of work has gone into this lesson.
Not a bad map by history teacher standards, though St Petersburg is too far south and Vladivostok too far north. But it certainly gives an idea of the key areas - this was a time of great Russian expansion into the Baltic, Ukraine and Siberia, war with the Ottoman Empire, and the moving of the capital to St Petersburg. The lumping together of 'breakaway republics' may show a tendency to generalise.
The title Imperial Russia 1609-1752 is something of a misnomer. The Russian Empire wasn't founded until 1721 - before that date it was the Tsardom of Russia. In fact, the date range chosen for module 3271 does seem somewhat arbitrary.
The main study question is rather awkwardly posed, using a mixture of tenses, but is open enough to stretch the more able students.
Handwriting is rather sloppy - all caps, sometimes at a rather wild angle, and with one map label illegible. The student pictured has been lucky to find Professor Stefano in, as his office hours are somewhat idiosyncratic. But this could be a result of education cutbacks, or flexitime due to his personal circumstances, so will not affect the overall score. (In fact, his work-life balance may be under threat as he feels the need to specify that he does not work at weekends.)
Overall: a very good effort - 7/10.
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Compound Angle Formulae
sin (A + B)
= sin A cos B + cos A sin B
cos (A + B)
= cos A cos B - sin A sin B
tan (A + B)
= tan A + tan B
1 - Tan A Tan B
A-level standard trigonometry. Maths all correct. Good pluralisation of 'formulae'. Neat handwriting. Loses a mark for 'Tan' instead of 'tan'. But otherwise: excellent work!