Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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Jamaica trip 2012

23-25/3/12: Papine High and the journey home

Flight not until the evening, so pleased to have an invitation to visit Papine High, another shift school like Pembroke Hall High, close to where I was staying.  Invited to work with mathematics teachers on basic numeracy, a topic very close to my heart.  Often secondary teachers assume things are learnt when they simply aren't!  Thanks particularly to Maureen Small-Paul, one of our visitors in 2011, for organising this.

Quick dash to the main campus to sort out expenses before reversing steps taken 6 short weeks before, with Mr Spence taking me back to the airport.

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?

19/3/12: visit to Ardenne High

Please note that I've edited the previous two posts to include pictures sent to me by Geneve Henry and Debbie Devonish.

Today went to Ardenne High at the invitation of Topaz Berlin, one of the teachers who came to Reading with us in 2011.  Arrived just before 7.30am. and, whilst waiting to be met, the national anthem started up through the tannoy.  Didn't immediately recognise it, I do apologise.  One of the security guards asked me to stand which I duly did, then to realise that everybody on campus who was sitting had stood, all those who had been walking were standing still, and all the cars had also stopped moving.

15-18/3/12: UTech, Montego Bay and last Sunday

On Thursday did a presentation on 'algebra as object', drawing on my own research in the area and also that of Kate Colloff whose masters dissertation I supervised.  This was at UTech, the University of Technology, close by where I'm staying and the UWI campus.  Aware that not everybody reading this will be interested in the details - do ask if you are! - but I think it's fair to say that the presentation went down well, with more interest in the underlying issue as to how to teach early simplification of algebra, and algebra more generally, than the research undertaken.

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.

12/3/12: visit to Pembroke Hall High School

At the invitation of Carol Dyce-Smith, who came to Reading with us in 2010 and was at the dinner on Saturday, went to Pembroke Hall High School, just to the north of Kingston today.  Pembroke Hall is a shift school, so there are two quite distinct groups of pupils and teachers, one attending 7am. to 12 noon, the other from 12 noon to 5pm.  Below is the cultural area:














With various key messages communicated around.  Don't know whether this is visible from the picture below, "Up, up you mighty race you can accomplish what you will.

9-11/3/12: reggae studies (2), dinner out and Hope Gardens

Went along to another reggae studies class.  The highlight for me is thisvideo clip, which I've entitled, "Every drummer should watch this."  Hope you find it as funny as I do - although a jolly good point being made, of course.  Good to be able to talk to some of the students - so very interested to speak to Alexia, a music teacher at Seaforth, one of the schools represented at the lunch on 28/2/12, currently studying for a psychology degree with an elective in reggae studies.

7,8/3/12: two contrasting school visits

On Wednesday went to the American International School in Kingston (AISK).  As noted on 24/2/12, got to know Scott Genzer, the principal of the middle and senior schools, on my first visit here through a mutual friend Douglas Butler, and it's been great to stay in touch since then.

AISK would be a very short walk from here if it was possible to get straight there, in fact it's necessary to walk round a lengthy block round Jamaica College, a large boys' school next door to here which owns the land on which AISK is build.

6/3/12: Prince Harry and the University campus


Prince Harry was at the Mona Campus of UWI (University of West Indies) today!  I know this because I read about it on the news before and after.  And Marcia tells me that she was held up for 15 minutes in trying to get in.  And Camella tells that the security cards at the main entrance were wearing smart new jackets - not at the side pedestrian entrance which I mostly use, though.  So whilst I was on site at the time, had no awareness that anything was going on.  Still, the pictures with him and Usain Bolt looked as if he had a good time, which I'm pleased about.

5/3/12: more on robot taxis

Longer post tomorrow to commemorate Prince Harry visiting and to give a little illustrated history of the University campus.

However, very briefly, have made more progress on robot taxis.  Still don't know really where the term comes from, but it turns out there are two types: those that go along the same route as taxis (which are only called 'bus-type taxis' by me) and those which serve remote areas where taxis and buses don't.  This seems to me to be a bit of a conundrum: not licensed must surely mean that any insurance policy won't be valid in the case of accident, but these unlicensed drivers are providing an essential service.  Will have to think about this....
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