(1) F.2 quiz
To focus on the weakness of algebraic computation, I’d set the following as one of the questions in a F.2 mathematics quiz: any mistake you can find in the presentation?
Fortunately, most of the students in my class could give the ‘expected’ answer, though they did not use language to present, instead, they re-wrote the presentation and gave the correct value of x. Fine! Few students thought that there is no mistake in the presentation. And some gave ‘innovative’ solution like
1. The ‘S’ in ‘Sin’ should not be a Capital letter. (Oops, that’s not my fault, it’s all about the ‘cleverness’ of MS WORD)
2. The ‘equal sign’ should appear in the answer, that is, we should write instead of 3. (Urm…Is it my fault to ask them to give this in daily homework?)
3. The question should be (Huh! Not bad. It is a ‘good’ strategy. Whenever we don’t know how to do the questions set by examiners, just CHANGE it to fit us. Gooooood!)
What should be the focus in teaching of Calculus in Pure Mathematics? May be some professors suggest the approach. Well, for most of Hong Kong students and teachers, of course, ‘materials need to teach in class’ is equivalent to ‘questions appear in HKALE papers’. Several days ago, one of my F.7 students told me that, the following two questions were asked during the interview of Risk Management (CUHK):
(i) Which topic in Pure Mathematics you like most? Why?
(ii) What is a derivative?
If I were an interviewee, I would be very grateful to share my views about such kind of ‘pure mathematics’ questions. However, I guess, it is not easy for students to reply to something like “What is a derivative?" under the usual practice of HKAL syllabus. (Perhaps, ask them to prove the differentiability of a function may be easier) In addition, the interview was held TWO MONTHS after the HKALE, it is likely that non-mathematics lovers would simply throw away mathematics as the disposal of rubbish. My student could not give satisfactory reply at that moment, he thought, and I comforted him that the department may look for the ‘opposite’, they may look for smart guys and mathematics-lovers are not suitable for them, bla bla bla…Urm, can this event be a sound reason for me to introduce or discuss ‘out-of-examination-syllabus’ materials in class? May be I could ‘cheat’ my students in saying that 『呢 D 野係唔考O既，但將來面試可能會問O架。』during lessons in the future…