Monthly Archives: May 2012

Exam howlers

I’ve just emerged from the cave of slightly grubby paper that I inhabit during the marking season. As ever, most of the idiocies with which I’ve been vexing my spirit are sad rather than amusing — or even vaguely sweet, … Continue reading

Posted in Undergrad. Adv. Math. | 1 Comment

“Gotcha” questions and junk thought

It’s the exam season, and I’ve been brooding on a question from an earlier post: can we develop useful theories of how and why students fail to learn? A few weeks back I started toying with the idea of “junk … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching | 6 Comments

Anne Brontë on feedback in mathematics

Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey is — to my mind at least — saved from the insipidity of so many Victorian heroines by the astringency and accuracy of her remarks on teaching. Here she is on the difficulties of educating a … Continue reading

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Cobbler’s wax and sirens: lessons from Kelvin’s lecturing equipment

I am never content until I have constructed a mechanical model of the subject I am studying. If I succeed in making one, I understand; otherwise I do not. William Thomson, Baltimore Lectures on Molecular Dynamics and the Wave Theory … Continue reading

Posted in Internalist musings | 2 Comments