Apply now for this year's MathsCraft Immersive PD workshop!
Applications close 31 May 2019
Application deadline extended to 31 July!

How does a mathematician think about and solve a problem?

What does "doing maths" look like?

To help students and their teachers answer those questions, ACEMS sponsors a program of workshops called "MathsCraft - Doing maths like a research mathematician." The goal of the program is for students and teachers to experience what we believe mathematics is truly about:

  • exploring
  • noticing patterns
  • making conjectures
  • proving or disproving those conjectures
  • figuring out “why”
  • thinking of ways to extend the problem.

See here for upcoming MathsCraft events!

We want to show that maths isn’t just about getting a right answer. It’s about exploring, understanding, and knowing that there's always another question to ask. This is the process that a research mathematician goes through when he or she starts to tackle a problem.

MathsCraft gives students and teachers the opportunity to experience this process for themselves, by grouping them with research mathematicians, and asking them to work through mathematical problems that are similar in style to actual research problems.

MathsCraft sessions have been running since 2012, led by Anthony Harradine, ACEMS affiliate and Director of the Potts-Baker Institute at Prince Alfred College, Adelaide.

Sign up to hear about future MathsCraft events in your area!

Facebook Pictures from a workshop at QUT in Brisbane, 2016

Teacher Professional Development workshops

Since 2016, ACEMS has been running annual professional development workshops for teachers, to give them the knowledge and resources needed to run MathsCraft sessions of their own. These 5-day immersive workshops see the attendees tackle the same sorts of problems that are given to students in the sessions, and analyse their experiences. The workshop also includes a MathsCraft session with school groups from the local area.

Teachers across Australia and New Zealand have attended these workshops and are now MathsCraft session leaders, running events for schools in their regions.

Quotes from past attendees

“In all my years of teaching I have never learnt so much in the time available. I wish we could have more exposure to this type of learning/teaching.”

“Seeing how mathematicians work has shown me how valuable different representations are to the thinking process.”

“It is very important to recognise that this event was likely more valuable than all of my previous PD combined.”

“Amazing. Exhausting, fun, really really hard work...”

“I like the fact that we've been sent to bed each night struggling with at least one problem.”

One teacher's MathsCraft journey

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About Anthony Harradine

Anthony began teaching mathematics in 1984. He has spent the last eleven years trying to better understand his 'failures' of the previous twenty-one. His many mentors have taught him lots about mathematics and statistics, problem solving, and research. He likes nothing better than sharing ideas with anyone silly enough to listen. He really likes mathematics.

In the recent past his professional time has been filled with a variety of tasks that include: facilitator of problem-solving workshops, mathematical-person in residence, leader of a unique STEM project (eduKart), Advisory Board Member (The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences), Prime Ministerial working group member (Transforming Learning and the Transmission of Knowledge), consultant, web application developer, curriculum writer and teacher.

Green Acorn