Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rhonda Farkota: Australia's Direct Instruction maths expert

PhD thesis:
  The Effects of a 15-minute Direct Instruction Intervention in the Regular Mathematics Class on Students’ Mathematical Self-efficacy and Achievement by Rhonda Maree Farkota

 Currently I've read Chapter 2 which describes, compares and evaluates the constructivist and Direct Instruction methods in maths teaching. It does leave out Papert's constructionism (a common fault in most of these reviews) but otherwise does provide a comprehensive comparison of the different methodologies and demonstrates the superiority of Direct Instruction in practice.
She is a specialist in the US developed teaching model, Direct Instruction (DI), and has designed and developed her own DI model. She has conducted professional development and lectured on Effective Teaching Practices at universities, schools and seminars throughout Australia. Rhonda continues to conduct professional development in these and related fields and in 2010 she presented to the Singapore Ministry of Education. In 2003 she was nominated for the 2003 National Learning Difficulties Australia Award in recognition for her work in learning disabilities.
- source
In the past few days I have seen the materials developed by Rhonda Farkota Junior Elementary Math Mastery - JEMM
... a mental math program ... suited for middle primary, and upper primary remedial students. Requiring only 10–15 minutes daily to implement, plus 3–7 minutes for instant feedback ...

  Elementary Math Mastery - EMM
... a mental math program ... suited to upper primary, first year secondary and secondary school remedial students, and requires only 15–20 minutes daily to implement, plus 5–10 minutes for instant feedback and correction proceedures.

 I'm very impressed. These are the materials which could make all the difference for the most disadvantaged students in Australia and elsewhere.

 Thanks Wayne.

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