#AskMark Volume 1

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

2021 promises to be an exciting year for all of us at La Salle with the expansion of Virtual Maths School planned for the spring, a return to face-to-face conferences, the growth of our Teacher CPD College, more new features added to our Complete Maths platform, and more dedicated staff joining our team behind the scenes. Plus, we have a big surprise to share with you in time for the summer holidays, so watch this space!

Our community of mathematicians is at the heart of what we do — because when teachers are given the time and opportunity to share their insights and learn from one another, everyone benefits. It is in this spirit that we are excited to launch ‘#AskMark’, a new series in which we invite you to put your questions to our founder, Mark McCourt. Over the course of his career Mark has accumulated decades of experience both in and out of the classroom, so this is your chance to benefit from it. Simply tweet @LaSalleEd using the hashtag #AskMark and he’ll answer as many of your questions as he can.

To kick off the series, we’re starting with two questions from our team - next week, it’s your turn!

Earlier in your career, you were yourself a teacher - in what ways have pupils changed since you were in the classroom?

They haven’t. Kids are kids are kids.

I know it’s tempting to bemoan each new generation of pupils for lacking some great disposition that your generation had, but I don’t buy it. At heart, they have the same ambitions, same fears, same potential, same hopes.

And I think we should have the same goal for them as I know my teachers had for me: to become educated. To become aware of the origins and growth of knowledge and knowledge systems; to be familiar with the intellectual and creative processes by which the best which has been thought and said has been produced; to learn how to participate in what Robert Maynard Hutchins once called ‘The Great Conversation’.

The tools and technologies they use might be different, but it is by enabling them to become learned that we future-proof our children.

A huge part of La Salle Education is its community of Maths teachers - why is it so important to you for that community not just to exist, but to keep growing?

There is so much knowledge within that community. If we all knew each other, if we all shared and debated our theories then, together, we can iterate towards shared standards of excellence, which would give us our best defence against mindless initiatives, fads and fashions.

And… just because I’ve never met a lovelier bunch of people to have a pint or two of beer with.

Got your own question for Mark? Simply tweet @LaSalleEd using the hashtag #AskMark and he’ll answer as many of your questions as he can.

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