malcolm bellamy

Southend-On-Sea, United Kingdom

About malcolm

Bio

I am a Primary (Elementary) Mathematics Consultant at Southend-On-Sea Borough Council. I have been a headteacher of a Primary School but have now put my interest in the development of mathematics to wider use and go into schools to advise teachers. I believe that mathematics is a subject that is not well taught in schools and has the potential to develop children's confidence in themselves and their potential to learn. I think that it is a subject that can be developed in schools by using the right approach such as the use of creative means to understand concepts as well as the building up of the building blocks in a step by step way. I have recently been looking at approaches to developing mathematics such as John Mighton's "Jump math" Project in canada and feel that his mix of basic skill development as well as an investigative approach leads to great success for children who did not think they could learn mathematics as is exemplified in Lambeth London where the project has proved a great success in motivating inner urban children to learn mathematics and in the process to gain confidence in themselves as learners and this has had the added spin off effect of reducing anti-social behaviour in class for many of these children. Recently, I taught a class of low achieving Year 7 (aged 11-12) children in a local secondary school. We did algebra in a fun way that just developed the concept of an empty box (represented by a P.E. mat) and something added to it. The children suddenly discovered that they "could do" algebra. it made me wonder how many thousands of other children (perhaps millions) are denied the opportunities to understand just how able they really are. John Mighton's book "The end of Ignorance" is a work that describes his campaign in "Jump Math" but also outlines his philosophy that every child has potential and can use mathematics to develop their learning.

An idea worth spreading

An idea worth spreading is John Mighton's idea that people can learn at any age. That developments in neuroscience has shown the plasticity of the brain and that we learn in small steps that allow us to make connections. As John states in his book "The End of Ignorance" chess grandmasters become great because of practise and the building up of layers of skills. Mathematics can be learnt by the same means. We start small and develop the ideas and allow the ideas to spread as pathways and networks within our brains.

I'm passionate about

Human potential. I see wonderful things happening in the world of technology and I think that this has the potential to widen every child's world and usher in a new age of learning.

Talk to me about

Any developments in learning in mathematics and the use of technology.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

51832
malcolm bellamy
Posted about 3 years ago
Maajid Nawaz: A global culture to fight extremism
A number of important points were raised by Majid. I was particularly interested in his analysis of how terrorist organisations create a message, market the message and are led by highly intelligent people who are aware of the potential of the net to spread their message as well as the power of grass roots recruitment. We all need to be aware of this.
51832
malcolm bellamy
Posted over 3 years ago
John Hunter: Teaching with the World Peace Game
Firstly, I loved the talk, it made me proud to be a teacher and left me with the wish that I had had the courage to try and do the kind of learning experiences for my children that John Hunter set up for the children who had the fortune to be in his classes doing this really interesting World Peace Game. Secondly the discussion in the comments that I have just read in many ways reflects the arguments that are going on in the U.S.A. and other countries about the value of direct instruction in a tight, tested curriculum as against an open enquiry/project based approach that can be seen in John Hunter's talk. As a politics student at university I remember playing a game called "Diplomacy" in my International Relations course. Our lecturer was a young Harvard PhD student who was a visiting lecturer at Warwick University by the name of Mike Doyle ( now a professor of International Relations at Columbia University). MIke said that he wanted us to play the game to get a feel for what the theory was all about and to try and understand what shaped the thinking of the players in the international community. I remember that the game sessions gave me the best insight into the complexity of international relations than any textbook ever did and that I found it amongst the most inspiring events of my undergraduate years. I therefore applaud John Hunter for his courage in allowing his charges to try and understand and to think and feel for themselves. I know that there are arguments in the comments about assessment of the game but I go along with those who say that the things the children get out of it are multi-layered and complex and are about wisdom, collaboration, the ability to speak and listen clearly and most importantly the ability to think. Thanks TED for yet another inspiring talk.
51832
malcolm bellamy
Posted over 3 years ago
You need to be able to calculate in your head
I think being able to use your head is very important. The calculator is only as good as the person who pushes the keys... you need to have some idea in your head of what looks right or wrong in a a calculator's answer or it could lead to a lot of error. Learning to think mentally about mathematics also helps to strengthen and increase links in your head to allow you to become more proficient as a problem solver.
51832
malcolm bellamy
Posted over 3 years ago
Test Schools, Not Children
Thanks for the information about CORE I shall be looking this up. I think the new TED Conversastions are such a useful means to pass on great ideas and developments such as CORE. Thank you.
51832
malcolm bellamy
Posted almost 4 years ago
Aaron Huey: America's native prisoners of war
This was a powerful and emotional talk. He did well to talk about the aftermath of Wounded Knee when he quoted the words of the Chief looking at the bodies of men, women and children and the broken dreams of a nation. His voice was quivering a few times in the talk but he made his powerful point well. It left me (an Englishman looking from afar) with the same sort of anger that I felt reading Dee Brown's wonderful book "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee". Another great TED Talk.
51832
malcolm bellamy
Posted almost 4 years ago
Chris Anderson: How web video powers global innovation
Well done Chris.... this was inspiring stuff! I particulalrly liked the brilliant use of Prezi and the emotional ending. You have not let yourself down in this talk which I realise must have been very difficult for you to prepare given the level of expectation that you have set for everyone in the TED Talks..... I was so pleased to hear about the evolution of TED... I agree completely. The TEDx experiment has already given us some wonderful examples (some of which I have blogged about) and the idea of opening it all up is wonderful... I would like to see TED Talks by students throughout the world...we need to hear and see the ideas of the young generation (although as a comparative old timer I still haven't given up my own personal ambition of giving one at some future date!).