You may recall sometime last year when I was awarded the Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship for my proposal to travel the world looking at maths education in primary schools.
Well, departure day is in zero minus 10 and the adrenalin is starting to kick in. Let me give you a broad outline of where I am going, what I am doing and who I am talking with while on the World Tour of Maths.
New York - I will be spending four days in four different schools - not sure if I can name them (I will check this out when I get there). The schools are diverse - one is a private school, one is a selective school and two are charter schools. I will also be visiting the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) which should be great. Probably won't have time to fit in any shopping, baseball, sight-seeing etc.
Denver - In Denver I will be attending the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Conference. This should be great - something we don't get to experience in Australia - at least not on this scale. I also hope to meet with a few special people - Dan "Math Class Needs a Makeover" Meyer and Marilyn "I Hate Mathematics" Burns.
San Francisco - I am going to meet a few of the directors of the San Francisco Math Circle - no, not a secret cult studying arcane lore but a group that promotes after school maths activities to stimulate and challenge interested young mathematicians.
Tokyo - Well, not exactly Tokyo but close - I am going to spend three days in a school in Kawaguchi. This will be very exciting, particularly given my level of Japanese. However, my visit does coincide with Golden Week so I think I am going to have a good time.
Singapore - The final leg of the trip is Singapore where I get to visit six schools and catch up with a few ex-Radford staff who have escaped Canberra's chilly winters for some tropical heat.
Canberra - And back again to Canberra, where I will unleash all my new-found passion for maths on my unsuspecting class 6BF and the rest of the Radford Junior School.
So if you see a slightly bewildered-looking mid-aged Australian male clutching his i-Pad and mumbling greetings in less-than-fluent Japanese, come up and say hello.