Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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20-22/3/12: UWI workshop, working with Ministry Colleagues and St Andrew's

Please note that I've updated the entry on Montego Bay from the weekend with some pictures - thanks to Craig Dixon, the ICT technician at the School of Education for sorting out how to get them from my 'phone, and Peter Joong for suggesting that I ask him!

Workshop on Campus on Tuesday.  Very pleased to get a different solution to the problem, "On a traditional clockface the hands are at 90 degrees to each other at 9am.  What is the next time at which the hands will be at exactly 90 degrees?" than the one I was expecting, noting that between 9am. and 3pm. there are 11 times when this happens equally spaced, so...  Jolly nice when this happens!  And also interesting discussion point, if the purpose of the activity, in part, was to practise the use of algebra, then that purpose has gone!

On Wednesday led a workshop of mathematics advisers from across the island, including Euphemia Robinson and Racquel Ranger who have been to Reading with us. Theme was basic numeracy within intervention projects, looking to find ways of practising the same ideas over and again in fun motivating ways.  Seemed to go down well.  Was lent a dongle and remote to control my PowerPoint, jolly useful device which I'd quite like to have now that I've used one!

In the afternoon had a meeting with immediate colleagues at UWI recounting what I'd been doing and giving some reflections.  Interesting totting it up - 10 school visits (including some still pending), 3 workshops at UWI, 3 elsewhere, plus meetings at different levels of formality with principals.  Very grateful for the opportunity to air some thoughts, relating both to this visit, and also previous experience teaching at a tough school in London with about 40% of the pupils of Jamaican ancestry.  Not comfortable as yet putting these thoughts into writing, but watch this space!

On Thursday went to St Andrew's High School for Girls, again not far from Half Way Tree.  Had forgotten that I'd visited before in 2010 until I met the principal, Mrs Reid.  Was supposed to be doing a workshop for teachers on interactive whiteboards, except that they had a different model to the one I already had software for, and couldn't then make my laptop communicate with the pen.  So did something else.  Salutary to note that some problems are pretty international!

Now very much in 'I'm going home' mode.  Was taken to lunch with Camella and Marcia at a Chinese restaurant which was very nice, good to have the opportunity to catch up and particularly to discuss the continuance of the 'Champions' programme.

And then in the evening went out with Debbie and Michael from UTech, Debbie who wa with us in Reading in 2011 and Michael who is coming out this year.  Interesting to reflect on my impressions of the country with them, not least the connection between initial teacher training and what happens subsequently.  Went to Port Royal, which is beyond the airport on a peninsula, in effect part of the natural harbour outside of Kingston.  Reputation for the best fish in the country - and I think I can say that the reputation is justified!  Very simple restaurant, more of a feel of a cafe really, but wonderful, wonderful cooking!  So thank you, Debbie and Michael, for the invitation to your church and other things whilst I've been out here, I look forward to keeping in touch in the months and years ahead.

Visit to Papine on Friday then packing up to go, likely to be a few days before I'm blogging again, hope to have you back soon!

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