Addition of Swan's skills a big plus for local school teachers and students

Dr Paul Swan.
Dr Paul Swan.

Students and teachers of Mulyan Public School were treated to a very special visit from Dr Paul Swan on November 14 and 15.

Dr Swan is at the forefront ofteacher training for mathematics and was invited to the school by principal Catherine Briggs.

Dr Swan spent his time giving professional advice to not only Mulyan's teachers but teachers from schools around the district.

"We've been holding classes and the principal has given the opportunity for other teachers to observe real kids in a real world situation," he said.

"Then we had nearly 60 people come last night in their own time and that demonstrates to me 'we're interested in kids, that we want the best for our kids'.

"Those teachers came in their own time, they didn't have to come and that tells me a lot about the professionalism.

"A school is a reflection of the community around it, so I quite like the school hasn't said 'this visit is just for us, we'll share some of this knowledge with other schools'," he said.

He also spent time with Mulyan's students working on how to make mathematics more understandable.

"What we've been doing here has been a strong focus on what I call the literacy of mathematics," he said.

"You have to know the vocabulary, the pictures, graphs and the symbols that go with it.

"So a student might be really good at his three timetables but a question might say find the product of three and four.

"Well they don't know that product means to multiply, so teachers say my student is no good at multiplication, but they are just not when we put it in words," he said.

Mrs Briggs said it was a privilege to have Dr Swan at the school.

"We are so excited to have Paul to come visit and working on our numeracy teaching skills," she said.

"The teachers are so excited about the things they have learnt and looking forward to putting Paul's ideas around teaching maths into action in their classrooms

"It was also lovely to be able to share his visit with the other schools in the district.

"At the end of the day it's about the children and if we can spread this knowledge across the district then all the kids get to share and gain from it," she said.