Mistake making is a huge part learning mathematics for many of the students that sit in our classrooms each day. Making errors is an important part of learning. Students are constantly reminded to ‘check their work’ and work more carefully to avoid errors. This has resulted in some students becoming quite apprehensive about making mistakes or about attempting work in mathematics that is ‘too hard’. Many students will avoid mistakes by only practicing work that they already know how to do. When errors are made, students will tend to place a cross next to their work and move on without giving it any further thought. This is sometimes inadvertently reinforced when teachers provide similar feedback through ticks and crosses, sometimes supported by a correction in red pen. This seminar presents a potential model for student-centred error analysis and self-reporting of personal error data that is being trialled at Brisbane Grammar School to support teachers and students to develop highly personalised plans for improvement in this important subject.
James is a teacher of Mathematics and Science at Brisbane Grammar School. He has 12 years of experience teaching Mathematics and Science to students from the ages of 10 – 18, both in Australia and in the United Kingdom. For a number of years, James has been working with students and teachers looking closely at student errors in mathematics and in 2016 he received the Teaching Innovation Award at Brisbane Grammar School with an associated grant to further his study of student errors in Mathematics. James is currently a member of the International Boys’ Schools Coalition action research group investigating collaboration in 21st Century Classrooms and participating in the Independent Schools of Queensland project on Differentiation in Mathematics instruction.