Does any one know of any country, state, school which has adopted PBM as **the** way to teach and assess mathematics in the final two or three years of secondary school (before sixth form)? I don’t mean the use of projects to enhance the lessons or help children learn and apply concepts, but the whole three years based on projects with, say, 60% of the final assessment based on class-based project work and 40% on a written exam, for the O level.

# Author Archives: Josef Lauri

# Response to “Malta: new Learning Outcomes Framework”

*I can calculate the work done by a given force moving an object through a given distance and I can use this to discuss the conditions of work in factories and industry.*

I believe in the power of mathematics and I am convinced that comparing numbers (for example, salary) reveals a lot about gender inequality (and other, frequently hidden, inequalities in the world — just recall the Oaxaca Decomposition and its role in fight against discrimination of any kind).

*teacher*an example of a highly non-trivial use of mathematics in this context.

# OBE

No, it is not the Queen’s Honours list. It stands for Outcomes Based Education, the latest pedagogical fad. The EU has practically adopted it as its official educational project. Which probably means that to bid successfully for EU funded projects you’d stand a better chance if you insert the OBE here and there.

But I am writing this because in the Wikipedia page Outcomes-based education

I was somewhat amused to (re)read a paragraph such as this:

In a traditional education system, students are given grades and rankings compared to each other. Content and

performance expectations are based primarily on what was taught in the past to students of a given age. The goal of traditional education was to present the knowledge and skills of an older generation to the new generation of students, and to provide students with an environment in which to learn. The process paid little attention (beyond the classroom teacher) to whether or not students learn any of the material.

and guess what reference they cite at the end of this paragraph? The

Constance Kamii and Ann Dominick 1998 paper on the “harmful effects” of algorithms in Grades 1-4. They also quote this gem from the paper:

“The teaching of algorithms is based on the erroneous assumption that mathematics is a cultural heritage that must be transmitted to the next generation.”

And whole countries build their educational policies on such “findings”.