Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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13,14/3/12: visit to Shortwood Teachers' College and Vere Technical High

Things starting to get busy now.  Did much the same workshop as on Monday 12/3/12 at Shortwood Teacher Training College on Tuesday, with teachers invited in from surrounding schools.  Organised by the head of mathematics Donna Powell-Wilson who was extremely welcoming.  Whole thing most enjoyable, real sense of connecting with teachers where they are which is wonderful.

On Wednesday went to Vere Technical High School in Clarendon, further to the south and east from Linstead where I was last week.  Was taken there by Mr Paul, an engineering teacher, and his 4 year old son J.R.  Regular readers with long memories will remember that I sang 'Ten green bottles' with Abigail age 5, on 22/2/12.  What I didn't say is that when it gets to the bit, "...and if one green bottle should accidentally fall", I then pause, waiting for the child to tell me the next number.  From a Piagetian psychological view point, it's extremely interesting to see what the child does next.  With both Abigail and J.R. I was using fingers. J.R., as one might expect at his age, would count from one up to whatever number it was, actually touching my fingers to count them.  Abigail, being a little older, was able to do this more fluently, but still wasn't able to get straight to the next number.  If any early years researchers are reading this and can see the potential for a research project, do please let me know!

The journey went along the T1, which is a toll road, dual carriageway with a speed limit of 110km/h so about the same as a UK motorway.  Road quite empty which felt strange after being on very busy roads for the past few weeks.  At the end of the dual carriageway, clear evidence of building work going on to extend it.

So arrived at Vere Technical High, many thanks to Mr Paul and J.R.  Very warm welcome from Geneve Henry who had arranged the visit, albeit that Geneve is a science teacher which I had forgotten!  The principal, Dr Henrietta Stuart, stayed throughout the workshop with mathematics teachers and actively engaged in the activities, which I thought sent out such strong positive messages about the importance of mathematics and looking to consider new ideas.  Started off with 'Hurrah for timestables' whilst my laptop was starting up, and made two admissions through the workshop - I can't think that I've ever had an original thought in my life so far, but am quite good at putting myself in the position of getting new ideas, and also of assessing whether I like it or not.  The other admission is that I have to work hard to be positive.  Having gone through the, "Hurrah for timestables" they looked at me at disbelief, but I know some readers will be understanding what I'm saying here.

Delighted to be given a polo shirt at the end, predominantly yellow and also green and black, the Jamaican colours, celebrating 50 years of the school's existence.  I look forward to wearing the shirt with pride in future.  And a domino set, the national game, with a school logo on the back.  Many thanks to Geneve for organising the visit, to Dr Stuart for her support, a most enjoyable visit and my very best wishes to you all.

With thanks to Geneve, please see below pictures from the workshop:

...and here are some pictures of the school site:

Thank you, Geneve!

2 Comments to 13,14/3/12: visit to Shortwood Teachers' College and Vere Technical High:

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Geneve Henry on 18 March 2012 17:19
We enjoyed your visit Dr Tennant. Hope you will come again next time you visit Jamaica.Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in Jamaica. Geneve
Reply to comment
Geoff on 19 March 2012 06:07
Thank you, Geneve - and thank you for the invitation, it was great to see you. I'll upload your pictures shortly!

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