[Maths-Education] Clare

Tom Roper T.Roper@education.leeds.ac.uk
Mon, 11 Dec 2000 14:49:43 +0000

I have used Clare, and other videos, for mentor training both general and
subject specific. In all cases, there is a tendency for a large proportion
of the audience to be overly critical of what they see, indeed almost
savage in some respects. Other colleagues report this as well.

What is it that causes us, as a profession, to look at teaching via the
medium of video and not see that we have before us, as Jim says, a real
person who is doing their best? 

Having said that, I really do think that if these videos are to mean
anything at all, then they should provide more than exemplars of evidence
and sources of evidence, but they should weigh the evidence, i.e. grade the

In conversation with a maths HMI I raised the question how a judgement
about a grade one student, or indeed any grading at all was arrived at. I
was told that this was a matter that was being debated all the time. I
asked who was involvded in the debate. There followed a short and
embarrassed silence, after which it was conceded, without further prompting
that we, in ITT, were not involved in that debate. I know of nothing that
has advanced this state of affairs.

A second conversation, again with another maths HMI, might explain why. I
asked if the mentor/teacher tutor might observe the lesson with the
inspector. The purpose would be so that at the end the inspector could ask
the mentor if the lesson had been typical of the student's standard. With
our visiting externals, this is standard, basic procedure. I was informed
this was simply not possible nor was it necessary. When I asked why I was
told, and I quote exactly, "Because we know".   

The arrogance of the whole system is staggering. Let us hope that the
request by Cliff Gould for HEIs to put forward suggestions for changes in
inspection is serious on Ofsted's part and that HEIs do as he requests.

Best wishes,


At 01:14 PM 12/11/00 +0000, you wrote:
>This message has been generated through the Mathematics Education email
discussion list.
>Hitting the REPLY key sends a message to all list members.
>We should try to be aware that Clare is a real person, as well as a
>figment of the TTA's imagination, and be appreciative of the contribution
>that she has tried to make.
>Were it not for that, I would suggest that we grade her video lessons. The
>TTA seem incapable of commiting themselves on the point.
>However, I do feel that Clare is being held up as some kind of good
>example: particularly in the paperwork of lesson planning and evaluation.
>I do not believe that a student teacher could or should plan and evaluate
>each and every lesson in the way exemplified. Particularly as there is no
>apparent thought for the students' own professional learning aims /
>Jim D N Smith BSc MEd BA
>Mathematics Education Centre
>School of Education
>Sheffield Hallam University
>36 Collegiate Crescent
>S10 2BP
>0114 225 2349 desk
>0114 225 2339 fax
>Common-sense is unexamined theory.
>Maths-Education mailing list
Tom Roper,
Lecturer in mathematics education, University of Leeds
Centre for Studies in Science and Mathematics Education (CSSME).
Telephone 0113 233 4606 (work)
          01422 203743  (home)
fax       0113 233 4683