29 August, 2013

I plan, you plan, we all plan for NAPLAN part II

And, a closer inspection of my coursework tells me all my earlier fears have been realised. I am pointed towards the maths NAPLAN too…
Well, I did manage an advanced B in year 10 and then passed accountancy for my (as yet incomplete) Masters in Management. So year 7 should be a doddle, right?

Well, to a degree yes. Like my rant on the language test, my own way of approaching things is a bit off kilter. In the case of Maths, I am a whiz kid for special reasoning (what is the next shaded nonagon in the series, which side of the cube will be opposite side ‘c’) and I am more than capable of working out how to calculate most any equation short of the introduction of Greek letters, so the calculator section is fine. What kills me is a processing inability, I am incapable of holding numbers in my head for more than an instant and I am (genetically? physiologically?) incapable of learning my times tables. This leaves me in a very difficult place for the calculator free test, counting on your fingers may be frowned upon for a year 7 student. It is certainly frowned upon when you are standing in front of a year 10 geography class teaching them how to manage the statistics and graphing data they need for their fieldwork report.

Really, like my earlier post, this one is just going to suggest that it is important that I (and you, dear reader) ensure that we don’t assume that a lack of ability in one area (or several) points to a generic lack of ability or the presence of stupidity. Like the ‘Idiot Savant’ (an evocative, if somewhat inaccurate term) I would posit the existence of the ‘Savant Idiot’. Savant idiots are those of us who despite our obvious intellect across most fields of endeavour, manage to have an area (or two) where our failures are spectacular and no amount of effort seems able to displace our natural deficit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

YES. I know exactly what you mean. Not just about the Savant Idiot thing (I'm one too) but the holding numbers in the head thing...I'm 38 and have a graduate degree but still have to do basic math problems with my fingers - then double check on a calculator and maybe try it out on paper, just to make sure I have it right. Those numbers...they just will not stick. I think it's a working memory issue (common plague of the ADHD inclined). I was a talented musician as a child but to this day I cannot sight-read piano music - because you have to hold those little bastard notes in your head long enough to make all of your fingers play them all at once. In class, as a youngster, my most stress-filled moments involved teachers engaging the class in "fun" games involving mental math. It was a chance for me not only to be unable to hold numbers in my head, but to do it in front of a less than kind audience of my peers. Faaaaabulous ;)