7 things I learned from Eddie Woo
Eddie Woo spoke at the Teacher Preview Event for World Science Festival Brisbane 2019 at the Queensland Museum.
Here are the 7 things I learned from Eddie Woo:
1. Dispositions, not just skills, are a key to teaching STEM.
2. Dispositions lie underneath skills, e.g. let’s look at the skills of understanding & problem solving.
3. Curiosity: The disposition underneath the skill of understanding. Curiosity is like trust. It cannot be commanded, or coerced, only cultivated through consistent positive practices.
4. Openness: The disposition underneath the skill of problem solving.
5. Benoit Mandelbrot is his favourite mathematician. Mandelbrot looked at a satellite image of a river delta. He was curious. He asked the question, “Is this a kind of geometry?” Now, when looking at this image (below) of a river delta we can’t see geometry that we learn at school: squares, triangles, circles i.e. Euclidean Geometry. From here Mandelbrot developed fractal geometry, which can now be used to describe many things in nature.
6. “Almost none of the problems worth solving in the world today have just one solution” – Keith Devlin, Mathematician, Stanford University. Think about this, there is more than one solution to most of the problems worth solving. We now face a world of open solutions. Yet in school, we mostly cover closed solutions, i.e. only one answer exists. Are we teaching our students to view the world as if it is made up of closed solutions?
7. Above all, as a teacher, how to display these dispositions as an example of how to experience the world. Eddie Woo’s enthusiasm, curiosity, and openness to the world around him is inspiring.
Eddie Woo runs his YouTube channel Mister WooTube. He just published his book “Woo’s Wonderful World of Maths”. Plus he has a tv show on the ABC “Teenage Boss”, where kids take control of household budget and learn about budgeting. He’s currently doing a promo tour for his book and World Science Festival Brisbane 2019.
If you’re interested to find out more