Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Field Trips

After school today I marked 87 scripts. Some scripts were almost flawless, other struggled to make their meaning even vaguely accessible. Some covered fairly standard grade 9 work, others dealt with fairly advanced grade 12 material.

But they all had one thing in common. Each of them took me down a unique (and often alarming) journey through Mathematics.

The geography of Mathematics is far from dull.

There are the mountains when a wonderful insight comes from an unexpected source. The light of clarity shines on beautiful, competent (and legible) work.

There are also valleys, where it is dark and murky. Here the intrepid traveller peers through the mist, trying to find the path, or at least enough of the path to credit with some marks.

Sometimes the traveller happens upon a sparkling stream of new ideas. Sometimes she trips over a rock of a silly mistake. Occasionally she sinks into a bog of general misunderstanding and confusion...

Amazingly, each of these features (and doubtless many others that my metaphor has not yet uncovered) can be found in almost every single script at one point or another.

Not an afternoon wasted then?

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