Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rhonda Farkota Speaking Tour: Maths Mastery

Australian education and maths. I think it's generally accepted that Asia has long ago overtaken us, that maths instruction is poorly done in many primary schools and that we have an unacceptable long tail of underachievement.

If you live in Australia or New Zealand, Rhonda Farkota (Maths and Direct Instruction expert) will be running seminars near you soon. Here are the locations and dates:
  • Adelaide, February 7th
  • Perth, February 14th
  • Brisbane, February 20th
  • Cairns, February 21st
  • Hobart, February 28th
  • Melbourne, March 14th
  • Sydney, March 21st
  • Alice Springs, March 28th
  • Auckland, April 4th
More detail here

Rhonda achieves something that most educators fail to achieve: She gets the balance right between teacher directed and student directed learning. That might sound simple but our educational reality shows that it is far from simple.

I have used Rhonda's materials with indigenous students and with home schooled students and think her approach is what is needed for students to establish a thorough grounding in basic maths skills.

See my earlier blog posts for more detail about Rhonda Farkota, her materials and education philosophy:

Rhonda Farkota's 2005 Opinion Piece (What needs to be done and still hasn't been done to fix maths education in Australia)

Rhonda Farkota: Australia's Direct Instruction Maths Expert (Some brief comments about her PhD thesis and links to the materials she developed)

Rhonda Farkota's educational philosophy explained in five paragraphs ("When it came to the employment and cultivation of higher order skills where reasoning and reflection were required it was clear that a student-directed approach to learning was better suited. But when it came to the acquisition of basic skills the empirical evidence unequivocally showed that a teacher-directed approach was best suited")

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