Natural with numbers

Maths

So our learners aren’t learning Maths.  Time and time again I hear learners saying, when asked to respond to solving an equation by adding two numbers, “I plus them,” or when multiplying numbers, “I times them.”  When subtraction is required to solve an equation where two numbers are involved, I’d like a dollar for every time a learner says, “You minus them.”  An equation is referred to as a ‘sum’.   A ‘sum’ is the answer when you add numbers together.

A sense of number and what is done with numbers is difficult for many learners to internalise.  The transmission of the language of maths is so poor in many instances that I wonder if intervention is needed in order to not only break the cycle of inadequate language to describe mathematical operations, but to model strategical and block building concepts to teachers.  Perhaps maths mentors is the answer.

Education for Sustainable Development Part two

India tile

How can sustainability enhance the learning areas in curricula?

My favourite picture storybook is The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley  (Thank you Nuella.) You MUST read it.  The message I took away was live simply so others can simple live. (Thank you Gandhi.)

A curriculum that has sustainable futures at its core will be a dynamic and value enriched program of learning. The ways in which we can meet our current needs without diminishing the environment or reducing the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs is what a sustainable future is about.

So as a learner and facilitator, I brainstormed all the concepts of a global curriculum centred around the functions of sustainability – cultural sustainability, economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and social sustainability …..so here goes…….needs and wants, human rights, politics, Millenium Development Goals, belief systems, value systems,  gender equity, poverty reduction, global cooperation, interconnection, human well being, peace, resolving conflict, partnerships, trade, water, forests, natural hazards and disasters, biodiversity, food security, endangered species, energy, desertification, effects of climate and its change, trading fairly, education,  identity, child Rights, Agriculture, ethical consumerism, migration, immigration,  refugees, population, intercultural understanding, cultural diversity, connections to the past, indigenous culture, global health…… phwew!! And that’s just for starters.

Write down these learning areas- Civics and Citizenship, Geography, Science, History, Technologies, Maths, The Arts, English, Health and Phys Ed, Languages and  Economics.

Now try and fit any one of the concepts above under just one learning area.  Can’t choose? That’s because sustainability and global learning cross all areas of the curriculum. A rich curriculum has interconnected learning.

The best way to work out where you can work with these concepts in your curriculum is to do a concept map.

Take a look at your existing curriculum. Could you enhance it and open the eyes of your learners a little wider by including a concept around sustainability?