Well, here we are. Congratulations for surviving this whirl-wind term. I commiserate with you on the weather forecast for next week – pretty much wet, wet, and more wet. Sorry if you were hoping for sunshine – like I was. I have been sitting here imagining the warm sun on my skin. But it seems highly unlikely.
I am off to Auckland tomorrow to spend a couple of days on the Curriculum Advisory Group for the draft Digital Curriculum and Hangarau Matihiko. We will be considering the consultation report from the consultation activities that took place over July and August and we will consider the Ministry’s response to it. Our brief is then to advise the Ministry. It should be an interesting few days.
To prepare for the work on the advisory, I have been reading a book about algorithms. It describes how we use computational thinking in everyday life. Though I do not count mathematical skills as a strength of mine, I realised that I use a number of these algorithms in my role as a school leader (e.g “optimal stopping” in recruiting staff and purchasing ICT items). It is quite amazing how much of our decision-making as human beings is based on algorithmic or computational thinking. The interesting thing is that though I knew nothing about these mathematical theorems and algorithms, I have, in fact, developed, through trial and error, some quite good knowledge of them. This got me to thinking that perhaps if I had known the maths earlier, I could have used the algorithms more effectively and made less mistakes in my life. I would not have had to learn so much by trial and error.
It seems, therefore, that computational thinking is important to living a happy, full and successful life. If we can assist our students to see the maths in the world around us and as central to human decision-making, then, perhaps, they might be able to make better decisions, younger, than I did. Of course, the maths doesn’t always work and we need to understand that as also part of being human too!
Anyway, have great holidays with your kids. Be safe. Make good decisions, and see you all next term.