Author Archives: Rebecca Dickson

Maths, this is not the end – I promise

Discovering Mathematics, I can honestly say, has been brilliant. Intriguing, eye-opening, shocking. It has left me sad it has reached an end, but I am 100% certain when I say that this is most definitely not where my new-found love for maths ends.

Where to start?
I selected ‘Discovering Mathematics’ as my elective module for MA2 and at the time, admittedly, I was not completely certain of what to expect to take from it. I knew it would entail learning about approaches towards learning mathematics and so this was an automatic go-to.
From the first introductory class we had, I thought to myself ‘yes, this is a good choice, I’m going to learn a lot’ and I was right!

Goodbye maths anxiety!
‘Maths anxiety’ is something I learned about in the module and, unbeknown to its title and ‘diagnosis’ if you like, experienced myself prior to the module. All thanks to the tutors who ran the inputs for the module, my lack of confidence in maths quickly banished and went to the back of my mind. Rather than dreading maths, I started to really look forward to the next maths input. I can confirm this was due to the tutors’ own love for learning maths which was an inspiring attitude that brushed off on me. Admittedly, there are still areas of maths I am not so confident in, as I am not qualified in the subject at a too-impressive level. However, the module has made me experience a sense of confidence in findings out things I did not know about in maths and question things upon professional and personal reflection.

Discovering Mathematics – Mathematics, you have been discovered
In summary, I mean what it says in the title. I would recommend this module highly as an elective choice for any MA Education students who have the option to look into choosing this. It’s a real eye-opener to ways of learning and approaches to methodology in teaching mathematics, which was not my strong point in professional practice. Now I am more keen than ever before to develop my maths practice in schools.

What’s next?
There are many thing I’ve learned about throughout this module which I would not have thought twice about in terms of making connections to mathematical concepts. For example, maths and dance, maths in nature and really, honestly, the fact maths is everywhere. It has changed my perspective of maths to one that it determined to explore maths further because now I know there is no escaping maths – it is in almost everything we do! Not only this, but I am driven to change people’s perceptions of maths – especially the way it is approached in schools. Let’s abolish the ‘rote-learning’ attitude and get adventurous!

 

Now Discovering Mathematics if finished, I think it’s time to go and eat some Christmas π.
… Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Mundane Maths?

I will not take this for an answer. Maths is not mundane. It is not tedious. Most of all, it is not boring! I have learned this only from teaching maths in my professional practice and still then I was not 100% confident maths could be full of fun and adventure. However, now, having completed the Discovering Mathematics module, my fun with maths is only just beginning.

Maths does not have to be a chore. It does not have to be the dreaded subject for a learner to approach. But this is up to you, the teach, the educator, the facilitator, the mathematician! I think it is important that in order for a learner to enjoy learning mathematics, the content delivery should be engaging, intriguing and taught with an approach oozing motivation and love for learning maths. Otherwise, what’s the point? You’ll be bored teaching it and you’ll be fed up learning it. Make it fun, it’s down to you to get involved.

Piaget (1953) expresses his view of learning maths:

“It is a great mistake that a child acquires the notion of number and other mathematical concepts just from teaching. On the contrary, to a remarkable degree he develops them himself independently and spontaneously. When adults try to impose mathematics concepts on a child prematurely, his learning is merely verbal; true understanding of them comes only with his mental growth.”
(p. 74)

My interpretation of this, is Piaget is saying maths does not solely have to be learned from the teacher teaching the subject content; honest understanding and real learning of maths happens through experience out-with the classroom, as well as in the class environment. I can vouch for this and state that I completely agree with this statement. I have learned through the course of Discovering Mathematics that maths can in fact be discovered and learned successfully by independent research and development. By development, I mean I have developed an appreciation for maths more than I had prior to this module. The way I have learned maths and been taught maths has made it intriguing maths rather than mundane, which is immensely important to note.

Bruner (1964) makes a valid point:

“Any idea or body of knowledge can be presented in a form simple enough so that any particular learner can understand it”.
(p. 44)

To me, this summarises and clarifies what fundamental mathematics is all about – why we talk about it, why we learn about it and why we use it to teach. It is so important to know about.
Prior to this module, I did not have a clue what ‘fundamental mathematics’ was. I mean, I could take somewhat-aimless guesses at what it meant, but I did not know how to approach understanding what it entailed and meant in the classroom context. Bruner (1964) suggests any content of learning has the ability to be translated in its notion, in order to allow learners to understand it at the appropriate level. In other words, abstract and ‘scary’ maths – which is commonly the root of maths anxiety (pardon the pun) – can be taught, delivered or learned in a different form, one that is more simple or fundamental, for the learner to have an easier understanding.


References

Bruner, J. S. (1964) Some theorems on instruction illustrated with reference to mathematics. In E.R. Hilgard (Eds.), Theories of Learning and Instruction: The sixty-third yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE) Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Mason, J., Burton, L. and Stacey, K. (2010) Thinking Mathematically (2nd ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.

Piaget, J. (1953, reprinted 1997) The origins of intelligence in the child. Abingdon: Routledge.

First position – Dance and Maths

First position. Second position, third, fourth, fifth position. Wall one, two, three, four. Corner five, six, seven, eight.

Maths, believe it or not, is a large fundamental element underlying choreography and dance.
From the age of two years and for the most-part of my teenage years, I was, unbeknown to my senses, experiencing mathematical thinking during rehearsals and practising dance. My passion for ballet, Scottish dance, jazz and tap meant I was dancing for years without consciously recognising the patterns of maths evolving. Now, since starting the Discovering Mathematics module, I have come to realise maths is monumental in its involvement in dance.

I first realised this whilst sitting in a Discovering Mathematics workshop, where my astonishment was rapidly growing about the connections maths has, to everything. I decided at that moment, to reflect on this. This led me to write about the links between maths and tasks we complete day-to-day. However, in hindsight, I realise I did not actually write about a specific link I’ve made to maths.

Generally, maths is in dance if you think about counting beats, speed, shapes made with the body, angles, position, timing in music and patterns in the choreography itself. For example, in the dance studio, you will, most of the time, be surrounded by four walls and four corners. You must learn the number each wall is labelled as and understand the directions in which you must face. To face whichever numbered wall or corner, you must understand the mathematical concept that is ‘rotation’ by understanding clockwise and anti-clockwise. Mathematical vocabulary is widely used in dance, as well as in drama and theatre performances:

  • CS – centre stage
  • CSL – centre stage left
  • CSR – centre stage right
  • USL – upper stage left
  • USR – upper stage right
  • USC – upper stage centre
  • DSL – down stage left
  • DSR – down stage right
  • DSC – down stage centre

These are named ‘stage directions’ and usually your choreographer or director will instruct you in accordance to the space. To be able to dance in accordance to this, you must understand the maths vocabulary used, which, in this example, is direction.

Dance does not require mathematical problem-solving or making calculations. Instead, it is simpler. More fundamental. It requires you to think mathematically. What I mean by this is you need to be able to have a sense of pace, time and speed in dance routines and therefore counting beats is a mathematical strategy in practice. It is debatable that counting beats is a musical skill, however I argue that this is mathematical, as well as musical.

Additionally, symmetry is largely used in dance. Numbers of routines and choreographed sequences are designed around the principle of symmetry – this requires the understanding of what symmetry is, what symmetry looks like and how symmetry is created. The fundamental understanding of symmetry is key in dance. Symmetry is also in occurrence when a dancer is balancing, because keeping the body symmetrical or in other words equal, aids balancing.

Dancers make shapes with their bodies in dance. Specifically, in ballet, dancers create triangular shapes and angles with their legs and arms. An understanding of straight, parallel, horizontal, and curvilinear needs to be understand, as this is important in ballet. Dancers should understand the fundamental learning of angles – specifically, understanding 40, 90, 180 and 360 degrees, in order to accurately use their bodies in pirouettes and developpes.

In summary, I have discussed the links between maths and dance, a real passion of mine and as dance as always been a strong commitment of mine I was enthusiastic about sharing its interconnected relationship with fundamental maths.
In terms of pedagogy, I aspire to learn about teaching maths through dance in my professional practice. Dance is an expressive art which is not implemented sufficiently in schools and I definitely intend on it having more consistent and regular involvement in aiding children’s learning.

Any fellow dancers, I would love to hear your thoughts on dance and maths. 

Look around you! (continuation – tessellation)

Since my last blog post about tessellation – “Look around you!“, I have reflected deeper on what tessellation is and, more specifically, where the fundamental mathematics lies within.
You can read ‘Look around you!’ at:
https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/teachingjourney/2015/12/05/look-around-you/

Harris (2010) discusses the prior knowledge a learner must have acquired, in order to understand the mathematical concepts behind tessellation. The following is content the child should understand prior to learning about tessellations:

  • A whole turn around any point on a surface is 360°;
  • The sum of the angles of any triangle is 180°;
  • The sum of the angles of any quadrilateral is 360°;
  • How to calculate or measure the inner angles of polygons (a plane figure with at least three straight sides and angles.

He continues to explain children are required to know about the angle properties of all polygons – regular and irregular – in order to understand the maths in tessellation (2010, p. 4).

So, having read this report by Harris: “The Mathematics of Tessellation” (2010), I now know there is more fundamental elements than I previously assumed. Prior to reading Harris’ work, I thought the only fundamental maths in tessellation was knowing the shapes in use. I did have an awareness of the angles having an importance, but as I knew the shapes I demonstrated worked in tessellation anyway, I did not think twice about needing to know the angles of the shapes.

If you would like to find out more about the mathematics in tessellation, follow the link below!
https://my.dundee.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/pid-4544087-dt-content-rid-2917269_2/courses/ED21006_SEM0000_1516/Tessellation.pdf


References 

Dickson, R. (2015) Look around you! Available at: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/teachingjourney/2015/12/05/look-around-you/

Harris, A. (2010) The Mathematics of Tessellation. Available at: https://my.dundee.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/pid-4544087-dt-content-rid-2917269_2/courses/ED21006_SEM0000_1516/Tessellation.pdf. Last Accessed: Dec 5 2015.

Roman numerals, Ishango and all things prehistoric…

Firstly, I’d like to you imagine something. Something unusual for many, but perhaps not so much for others. Imagine you had more than ten fingers. More than ten toes. More than two eyes, two ears, one nose and… Actually, imagining you had more than ten fingers will suffice.

We use methodology to take account of the value of things and this methodology is using number systems. Number systems provide symbols which represent digits which symbolise the value. This may seem confusing, but bare with me.

The terminology available to describe numbers, counting, digits or mathematical values, proves to be of a broad essence.

  • Cardinality – the number of elements in a set or other grouping, as a property of that grouping;
  • Ordinality  – ordinal number;
  • Integer – a number which is not a fraction – a whole number;
  • Numeral – a figure, symbol, or group of figures or symbols denoting a number/ a word expressing a number.
    – Oxford Dictionaries: Oxford University Press (2015)

So, it appears that numerals are symbols which represent the value, which fundamentally, is a number. Each symbol denotes a digit and looks something like: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9… (do bare in mind that number symbols do not look like this in particular countries… For example, have a look at the number symbols in the Chinese language).

How old are you, numeral?

Roman numerals is a number system going back to 3500bce, which makes it 5500 years old.
However, number sequences are suggestively not the same age. Take a look…

ishango_bone
 http://africanlegends.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/ishango_bone.jpg

This is the Ishango Bone is a mathematical resource, a ‘tool’ if you like, which was used to make tally marks to keep count. It is 22, 000 years old and in its original use, it did the job for people tracking environmental occurences, such as the factors indicating season changes, or light and dark weather. Today, clocks tell us the time and so if it is 11pm, we know, without looking outside, there will be a dark sky. Vice versa, if it is a dark sky outside, we will know, without checking the time, it will be somewhat late in the evening. Back when the Ishango Bone was used, there were no clocks to distinguish the time – the hours, days, weeks, months and seasons going by.

download
http://www.math.buffalo.edu/mad/Ancient-Africa/ishango_bone.jpg

 

Tally marks were notched into the bone to count or symbolise the number value. For example, one line = 1, two lines = 2, three lines = 3, and so on – each line is one  tally mark. Amazing, isn’t it?

Back to Roman Numerals

Perhaps Roman numerals is an easier way to educate learners about what a ‘numeral’ actually is, because Roman numerals, apart from the numerals we use today, are well known, so much so that they are still used on clock faces.

Here is an example of this! Roman numerals on the clock at The Steeple Church, Dundee. This picture was taken by myself. 
These are fundamental elements in maths – number recognition, counting, values and number
systems. Yet, it is so astonishing how number systems have evolved throughout the years of
maths going on, almost in a subconscious behaviour. I mean, when people used the Ishango

Bone, did they have the understanding they were using mathematics and, more amazingly, they

were practising and demonstrating an understanding of fundamental mathematics?


References
Mastin, L. (2010) Prehistoric Mathematics. Available at: http://www.storyofmathematics.com/prehistoric.html. Last Accessed: Dec 5 2015.
Ishango Bone – http://africanlegends.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/ishango_bone.jpg
Ishango Bone (2) – http://www.math.buffalo.edu/mad/Ancient-Africa/ishango_bone.jpg

Beautiful Maths – Mathematics is beauty, literally

During the course of the Discovering Mathematics module, I have grown to have a more active awareness and somewhat alertness about the Golden Ratio…

1.61803398875

It appears as a number we may dismiss, but its essence is something astonishing and that is, the Golden Ratio is a measurement buildings and other objects use to be proportioned and it is suggested and perhaps proven that if something is proportioned in accordance to the Golden Ratio, it appears more attractive. 
The Golden Ratio primarily is the Fibonacci Sequence in practice, if you like. Fibonacci was an Italian Mathematician and the Fibonacci Sequence a theory of numbers, sequencing and ratio, used in architecture, buildings, as well as seen in nature (have look at pine cones). The sequence…

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21

It is simple, arguably, to continue the sequence when you understand the theory behind it:
1+1 = 2
1+2 = 3
2+3 = 5
3+5 = 8
8+13 = 21
Shown here is the sequence and continuation of calculations which construct the Fibonacci Sequence. Each number is put into the next calculation and so on.

This takes us onto the Fibonacci Spiral.
eHWK9
(Picture from: http://i.stack.imgur.com/eHWK9.png)

This is the Fibonacci Spiral drawn out and this is where the connections may make sense between maths ans beauty. Buildings, flowers, paintings and other art works are proportioned based on this mathematical concept and theory that using this ratio and scale will make things appear more attractive.

Here is a link if you would like to look further into the beauty and the art of maths and design:
Dynamical Systems by BBC News – 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7617191.stm


References

Bourne, M. (2015) The Math Behind the Beauty. Available at: http://www.intmath.com/numbers/math-of-beauty.php. Last Accessed: Dec 5 2015.

Image from – http://i.stack.imgur.com/eHWK9.png

Look around you!

You’re probably thinking how monotonous it is that I continue to repeat this, but maths is everywhere! Again.

I will never lose the amazement or curiosity I have filled with, at the fact that maths is the fundamental principle behind the creation and design of many things – and, much to your shock, as you are about to discover, it’s even on your face! Keep updated on my blog and have a look at my next blog post if you want to know what I mean by this. But really, your face is maths in practice.


 

In my last maths blog post: There’s no avoiding it – Maths is everywhere! (you can find this at:  https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/teachingjourney/2015/11/17/theres-no-avoi…-is-everywhere/)… I quite clearly conveyed my astonishment as I was discovering the honest truth that maths is everywhere. So, now it is my turn to shock you. Here are just a few places you’ll find maths…

Have a look at the tiles, perhaps in your kitchen or bathroom. This can be on the walls or the floor – if it’s the flooring, it may be wooden.
Like pineapples? If you do, you’re one step further. If you don’t like pineapples, look at a bar of chocolate.
If there happens to be a football kicking around – pardon the unintended pun – then you’ll find maths on that.
So that takes you outside – where you will see maths everywhere, but have a look specifically at cobbles, slabs or bricks on the pavements or roads – it’ll be there.

And you’ve got your answer…
Tessellation is a mathematical concept which the construction of a multiple number of identical copies of one shape. I exaggerate ‘identical’, as this is the reason tessellation occurs. For a shape to become a tessellation, they must be the same size and shape, to fit more than one copy together.

Oxford University Press (2015) defines ‘tessellation’ as:
“An arrangement of shapes closely fitted together, especially of polygons in a repeated pattern without gaps or overlapping.”

To demonstrate this and lay it out, I have drawn a picture showing tessellation:

12348599_1068113679874905_1125779_n

In this picture, you can see the triangular shapes drawn are clearly equal in size and they touch with no gaps between each shape. I could have continued drawing triangles until the page was full, but I wanted to write about it instead! Tessellations also work with hexagons, squares and many more. Any comments with how many shapes you can think of which can tessellate, would be great!

To further explain how tessellations work, below is what a tessellation is not:

12312476_1068113746541565_938711779_n

In the above drawing are four circles, equal in shape in size. So, they are equal in shape and size – shouldn’t they tessellate when they are drawn next to one another? Well, no – looking back at the first picture, there are no gaps between each shape. Now looking at this picture, you can see gaps between each shape = no tessellation.

These are basic examples. More abstract designs using two or more different shapes can still tessellate, because they can be in order and start to design a pattern.

The fundamental mathematics behind tessellations is the shapes, sizes, scaling and quantity. The most basic idea is shape. In order to begin to tessellate a shape, you need to know the number of sides the shape has. For example, if I, at random, chose the circle to tessellate then began drawing it, I would soon discover it does not work – this is because it has one edge which is rounded. Therefore, clarifying my point that the fundamentality behind tessellations is shape.


 

UPDATE
A great discovery I have made… Have a look:

Harris, A. (2000) The Mathematics of Tessellation. [Online]. Available at: http://ictedusrv.cumbria.ac.uk/maths/pgdl/unit9/Tessellation.pdf Last Accessed: Dec 5 2015.


References

Dickson, R. (2015) There’s no avoiding it – Maths is everywhere! Available at:  https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/teachingjourney/2015/11/17/theres-no-avoi…-is-everywhere

Oxford University Press (2015). Available at: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/tessellation?q=tessellations. Last Accessed: Dec 5 2015.

Just a little poetry

Following a Language module input surrounding poetry, I took quite an interest of how poetry is devised, the messages poetry can portray and the overall structure and genre of a poem.


 

This is a continuation of a poem by Anna Robb – what you read here is my created addition. We were set the task of reading Anna Robb’s poem and doing a continuation.

For a rumbling tummy, 
I would scoff

The snap of a biscuit
The crunch of a crisp
The slice of a sandwich
The sizzle of some chips

Food, glorious food!

 


Following this activity, we were then set the task of devising our own poems around a topic of our choice. This was completed as a group activity (Natalie Cant, Rebecca Dickson, Ben Neighbours).

 

A Pizza Poem

Thin crust
Stuffed crust
Cheesy twisted garlic crust
Gluten free is a crispy crust
But it is a must!

Swirl on tomato sauce
Garlic butter too
Sprinkle on some mozzarella
But no other cheese, ew!

Chicken, ham, pepperoni
Sounds so devine
Do not forget some roasted peppers
That’s my pizza design! 


 

The following poem is a poem written by myself. Any comments would be appreciated.
Understand it as you wish.

Teacher, teacher

Rebecca Dickson, 17. 11. 15.

Teacher, teacher
Come to me
I need some help writing the letter ‘e’!
Teacher, teacher
Come to me

Teacher, teacher
Help me
She’s not being very nice to me!
Teacher, teacher
Help me

Teacher, teacher
Listen to me
I have some exciting news, you see! 
Teacher, teacher
Listen to me 

Teacher, teacher
Look at me
What do you notice different today, something about me?
Teacher, teacher
Look at me

Teacher, teacher
Talk to me
I need just one person to talk to me!
Teacher, teacher
Talk to me 

Teacher, teacher
Watch me
I need someone to just watch me!
Teacher, teacher
Watch me

Teacher, teacher
Praise me
I only hear bad things at home, you see
Teacher, teacher
Praise me

Teacher, teacher
I see him
He does not need any help, nor him!

Teacher, teacher
I listen to her 
She’s the one that’s not nice, that girl! 

Teacher, teacher
He’s had a turn
I haven’t had a chance, not even one!

Teacher, teacher
Pay attention to me!

Teacher, do you see me?


 

Nothing but anxiety: Maths anxiety explained

Yes, ‘maths anxiety’ is real. Not only is it real, it is more common than you may think.
Many people I know go by saying, ‘I hate maths’ or when doing maths work, will say, ‘I don’t get it’ or ‘I’m confused’. I would say, I hear this more during maths than I do in any other subject. So I’m here to get to the root of the problem.

What is maths anxiety?

Cognitive Psychologist Mark H. Ashcraft provides a definition,
“Math anxiety is a phenomenon that is often considered, when examining students’ problems in mathematics. Mark H. Ashcraft defines math anxiety as “a feeling of tension, apprehension, or fear that interferes with math performance.”

I would best describe ‘maths anxiety’ as feeling fear, pressure, worry and lack of confidence when thinking about or doing mathematics.

Why do we experience anxiety about maths?

I think this is built up worry and anxiety due to past failure and mistake-making, or simply lack of confidence in ability – which again, could be caused by past failure or mistake-making. Making comparisons of yourself to others can also influence your attitude towards maths, just like it would in any curricular area. I think the only way to get to the bottom of maths anxiety is to change your outlook on it and realise that mistake-making, if that is the root of your maths anxiety, is permitted and it is expected. In fact, mistake-making can be the only indication of your learning and areas of progression. No learner should feel anxious because of this!

As the teacher, the educator, the supported and the motivating role, we must first battle our fear of maths. If we are confident in learning and teaching mathematics, I strongly believe our learners will too! Would you be comfortable with an anxious driver teaching you to drive?

I believe there are a number of factors behind this, but they go under two headings – the learner and the adult:

LEARNER – ethos, motivation, confidence and perceptions of maths comes from the educator’s
approach to maths
– negative attitude
– disengaged, unmotivated, uninterested in the learning
– insecure understanding
– fear or worry about mistake-making
– lack of confidence and little self-esteem regarding ability

ADULT – passing on of negative views and beliefs onto children (parents, teachers etc.)
– parents or others believing maths is ‘irrelevant’ or a ‘waste of time’; often the
questions are asked, ‘why are we doing this?’ or ‘when am I ever going to need
to know this?’ – passed onto the children
– lack of confidence regarding dealing with finance etc.

How do we overcome maths anxiety?

Maths anxiety, I believe, may always occur in some people – children and adults. I say this because, in maths, you can be confident in one area and not in another. It is the responsibility of us – the teachers, the educators, the supporters – to provide encouragement, motivation, support and guidance to our learners. Most importantly, it is crucial that we educate our learners about the positive of making mistakes or errors – this gives the teacher and the learner a good indication of where to take the next steps. Then it is up to the adult to give quality guidance to ensure progression in every learner.


References

Ashcraft, M. H. and Kirk, E. P. (1999) The Relationships Among Working Memory, Math Anxiety, and Performance. Available at: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/xge1302224.pdf. Last Accessed: Dec 6 2015.

Unimaginable Imagination

Imagine an unimaginable imagination. One that no teacher, educator, facilitator, parent, caregiver or learner sets expectations for, standardises for, or… imagines.

Sarah Maxine Green, an American educational philosopher, author, social activist and teacher, stated,

“We want our classrooms to be just and caring, full of various conceptions of the good. We want them to be articulate, with the dialogue involving as many persons as possible, opening up to one another and to the world. We also want our students to be concerned for one another as we learn to be concerned for them. We want them to achieve friendships among one another as they move to a heightened sense of craft and wide-awakeness and a renewed consciousness of worth and possibility.”

Following an input in Education Studies: Historical and Comparative Perspectives on Education module, I thought about this quote from Greene and I reflected on what it means to be in a classroom. What is our purpose of schooling? What is the need to teach such human traits as to be caring, respectful and open-minded? I argue that it is to broaden the mind of our learners. To allow them to visualise, to imagine their potential and teach them the skills they need to turn that imagination into a reality. Schooling is to support and encourage our learners in becoming well-rounded individuals.
I analysed this quote from Maxine Green and recorded a few key points I interpreted from it:

12248656_1059401164079490_206308192_n
Click on the picture for better quality.

Many of the traits Maxine Green talks about in the above statement, I interpret to making a number of links to the Curriculum for Excellence (2009), and in particular, the four capacities: successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.

This just highlights to me that even though Maxine Green does not base her work in Scotland, around our Scottish Curriculum, based on our learners, our expectations and our way of working in schools, the idea and the imagination and thoughts are still on the same wavelength. We want our learners to achieve potential, bring their own views and to have the confidence to express them. Most importantly, for our learners to have an awareness and an imagination for what is possible.

In response to Greene’s statement, she is talking about creating an ethos and an influential environment in classrooms and amongst children as learners and individuals – one that demonstrates respect, appreciates friendships and understands voices and opinions. I strongly agree with what Greene pushes for by saying this, as she shows understanding of the profound importance of capturing the essence of the holistic child. 


References 

Greene, M. (2000). Releasing the Imagination. Essays on Education, The Arts and Social Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Page 155.

Scottish Government (no date) Education Scotland: The purpose of the curriculum: The four capacities. Available at:
http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/learningandteaching/thecurriculum/whatiscurriculumforexcellence/thepurposeofthecurriculum/. Last Accessed: Nov 17 2015.