Mathematician In Residence

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I think the idea of having a "Mathematician In Residence"
is potentially a good one. To have a mathematician in a
school all week could be of great value.

Here are some thoughts about making it work

Using language "borrowed" from business, we would need to look at the deliverables, and how we would subsequently evaluate the experiment. Clearly just having a mathematician around can be of benefit, but we would want to be a little more specific about the responsibilities, duties, etc.

Easiest would be the idea of having several talks, presentations, or workshops. To really get the benefit of having a mathematician come in we would need to concentrate on non-curricular material, and every party would need to agree that that would be actively desirable. We could say that connections to the curriculum would be desirable, but not essential, allowing that we are looking to inspire and enthuse, rather than actively train the children.

We'd want to have a balance of activities, workshops, and talks, and these would need to span the age range in question. That would mean fitting in with, and occasionally distorting the timetable to be able to get the time needed. Everyone would need to buy into that.

And not to leave out the teachers. We'd want to have sessions for them to talk about the maths, and to air questions and concerns about the material they teach. In short, they also need to take advantage of the opportunity offered. This can be formal, or informal. Simply having someone around who will talk about maths, rather than teaching maths, might be enough.

Lastly, what should be left behind?

These are the questions. I think the right person can make it work.

What would be regarded as a success? There I'm not so sure. Should there be a package of material left behind, and that count as part of "the deliverable"? If so, what should be in it? I think that must be driven by the teachers. This is not material for teaching, but it is material for the teachers.


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