A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Category archive: Podcasts

Friday February 22 2008

Yesterday afternoon (as promised), Michael Jennings and I duly had our conversation about mathematics, which, as I said at the end, I found really really interesting, and really really, if Michael will pardon the word, fun.

There was a bit towards the end when we both completely lost it and said almost nothing for about a minute aside from “um” and “er”, and this I removed.  Otherwise, it is all exactly as it was.  There is lots more I could say about what we said, but what we said will, I hope, suffice.  Neither of us was at our most fluent, both of us having done other quite stressful and tiring things earlier in the day, but I truly believe we made up for that by talking, albeit often rather hesitantly, about really interesting stuff.  Our conversation lasted about 45 minutes, which is somewhat longer than I had expected, but then again, it turned out to be somewhat more interesting than I expected, and I expected it to be very interesting.  I am truly delighted by the hope-stroke-thought that in several years hence, I will still be able to listen to it.  Do I sound proud of this thing?  Probably, because I certainly am, and I am already pondering further conversations about educational matters.

At regular intervals in this conversation I referred to one or other of the excellent comments on the posting I did on Samizdata earlier in the week, entitled What use is maths?.  As I hope was clear from the start of this exercise, I always knew that there was a world of good answers to this question, and those comments alone, now approaching a hundred in number, will prove this to anyone who ever doubted it.  If you want a fairly exhaustive list of all the particular things that maths in its various forms and facets is useful for, along with other ruminations about the value of having studied maths (which is not quite the same thing), then I strongly recommend reading those comments.  A few of the later ones express exactly the same admiration and gratitude for all the other comments that I feel myself.

Thursday February 21 2008

Today I did two interestingly educational things.  In the morning, I went to help out at the Supplementary School half term school, from 10 am until 1 pm.  I had to get up at a frightful hour in the morning, but still I was a few minutes late.  Not good.

Then, in the late afternoon, Michael Jennings and I had a recorded conversation about mathematics (as flagged up at the end of this posting) - its usefulness, beauty and efficacy as a training for the mind.  There were hesitations (which can be edited into insignificance), but I feel it went well.  Soon, you will be able to judge for yourself.

As a result of this, I am now in no state to do any more education blogging today.  Especially since I have to be back at the half term school tomorrow at 10 am.  So, that will probably be all for today.

Thursday November 22 2007

On Monday, to mark the start of Brian Micklethwait’s Education Blog, my friend Patrick Crozier recorded a conversation about education between him and me, but mostly me.  Patrick found this a rather confusing and difficult experience, because instead of patiently developing just the one thesis, I deliberately flew off at as many tangents as I could grab hold of.  “And there’s another huge education story ...” Whenever the chance arose to abandon one half baked idea and to slap another idea in the oven to half bake that as well, I did so.  It didn’t make things any easier that we got interrupted a couple of times.

Anyway, if you want to know the sort of notions that rattle about in my head on the subject of education and if you have three quarters of an hour to spare, give it a go.  On the other hand, if you don’t care for podcasts and would prefer to read such things, then carry on reading this blog.