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Metaphysics: Aristotle and Plato’s Views Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that tries to answer a few questions by looking at the fundamental nature of the world. What is appearance? What is real? And ultimately what is the nature of reality? It helps us to try and see past the physical things and determine for ourselves whether something actually exists and the ultimate reason for why it exists. Although a single term, metaphysics covers a wide array of topics, including Plato’s idea of individual items and their properties such as n orange which has a size, color, and shape that can be easily defined, and are known as particulars.

There are also abstract objects such as emotions or letters which have no defined size, shape, or color. Religion is also a part of metaphysics, and asks questions as to whether a god or gods exist and their roles on earth and in the universe. In addition, not whether or not a god exists but if a god could exist. Plato’s form of metaphysics known as dualism says that there are two kinds of reality. “There is the reality of physical objects in space and time, which are objects of the enses and which are in flux growing, decaying and changing… here is also another kind of reality, the reality of concepts, ideas, forms, or essences, which are objects of thought” (Lazine 54). Plato better describes this in his Theory of Forms, which says everyone who is alive knows what a perfectly straight is, yet no one has ever seen one. “… When a man has discovered the instrument which is naturally adapted to each work, he must express this natural form and not others which he fancies, in the material… ” (Plato 99). In this statement he is making the assertion that what we elieve to be a perfectly straight line is actually Just an expression of the tool we are using.

In Plato’s cave allegory he gives a very compelling argument for dualism. He describes men who have lived chained to a cave wall with a fire behind them that depicts the shadows from objects and projects them on a blank wall in front of the people. His story illustrates the differences between ideas and what we believe to be reality, the shadows being ideas that the men perceive to be reality, without ever being able to see the actual reality right behind them. Plato also argues human perception to be an example of his Theory of Forms.

We perceive a certain object no matter what variations it may have, for instance an object may be broken and smashed into pieces, and yet looking at the pieces we can still see the idea of the object that lay broken. Contrary to the beliefs of Plato, Aristotle believes in only one reality, that which is physical where everything is consisted of matter. Such as plants, animals, and men, he calls these things substances. Aristotle defines substances as consisting of forms nd matter, form being what the thing is and matter being what it is made of.

He then goes on to describe matter not as being a particular kind of thing, but of the underlying qualities of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Aristotle would go on to give an explanation for somethings form, or to answer the question, Why? He would write his Four Causes in an effort to show how something became what it is and to better that is to say, its cause”(Aristotle 194). His first was the Material Cause, the change or movement of an object which is determined by what material the moving object onsisted of.

An example of his first cause could be an ice sculpture; the Material Cause of the sculpture would be ice. Aristotle’s second cause is, the Formal Cause. The Formal Cause is the change or movement of an object caused by the shape or confguration of the thing that is changing. An example of this could be the blueprint of the previous ice sculpture and how it’s supposed to be put together. His Third Cause is the Efficient or Moving Cause. It states that a change or movements efficient cause separate from the thing being changed, acts as an agent of the change or ovement.

The Efficient Cause of an ice sculpture is the person who sculpted the ice. Aristotle’s fourth cause is the Final Cause. The Final Cause of a thing is the reason or purpose behind it. So the Final Cause of an ice sculpture could be the entertainment of people. Plato and Aristotle have differentiating beliefs in the area of Metaphysics; Plato believes that there are two realities to everything in the universe the idea, and the physical thing. While Aristotle believes only in the physical reality, and that the idea or the form of a thing is a part of the item itself.

The metaphysical view that I consider to be fact, alongside Plato, is dualism. I believe after researching the topic that there are indeed two realities. I am compelled, in part, to accept dualism because of Plato’s cave allegory; it struck me as true, and something that I had never thought of before I read it. To me it makes sense that if you were to have never seen the reality of something how could you know that it was true until an event happened that opened your eyes. i. e. the man climbing out of the cave to see the world was ore than he thought it to be.

Numeracy Learning and Teaching

Numeracy Learning and Teaching.

This assignment is based on your own teaching practice

In this assignment you will provide evidence of:

How you assess, plan and record appropriate learning goals; how you draw on principles of good practice in your planning and delivery of numeracy learning and teaching; and how you use language, literacy and collaborative work in the numeracy classroom

You will produce a portfolio in three parts, which will draw on sessions from your teaching practice.  The parts are detailed below, but throughout you need to show evidence of research and include pertinent citations.  Resources and materials used in the sessions should be included.





Part A Initial assessment and goal-setting (1100 words)


Critically analyse the processes of initial assessment, diagnostic assessment and goal setting for post compulsory mathematics.


Critically evaluate a specific assessment tool with respect to validity, reliability, efficiency and equality of access.


Part B   Principles of effective numeracy learning and teaching (1200words)

This section demonstrates your understanding of the principles of effective numeracy learning and teaching, and how you draw on these principles in your planning.

Select a session from your Teaching practice.  The session must include one resource which you have created or adapted yourself.  

The plans and materials for the session should be accompanied by a 1200 word report.  The report must be clearly related to activities shown on your session plan, and should demonstrate the numeracy learning principles and approaches which underpin the planning, delivery, assessment and evaluation of your session.

In your report show clearly: 

How learners’ initial and diagnostic assessment and other learning needs informs planning of numeracy learning and teaching which meets curriculum requirements and motivates learners.

How you select numeracy resources and equipment for suitability and impact, adapting and creating alternatives.

The verbal, written and visual strategies you use to improve numeracy learning in your session.

How you use collaborative learning to establish and maintain a supportive and challenging   environment.

Examples of how you use learners’ mistakes in numeracy as opportunities for further learning.

How technology can be used to enhance learning.

Evaluation of your session based on learner outcomes, learner feedback and personal reflection.


In your account you should demonstrate critical engagement with current theories and principles of effective practice, and reflectively evaluate their application to your own practice.


Part C Working with others to promote numeracy and wider skills in learning programmes (1000 words)


From your PP placement or workplace, obtain a list of learning programmes on offer (either within the centre, or within your own curriculum area). 


Select a learning programme other than numeracy or mathematics from the list, for example, a vocational programme such as plumbing, engineering or childcare. Discuss how numeracy might be included within that programme.


Consider both discrete and embedded numeracy provision and critically evaluate the effectiveness of each approach.


Describe strategies you use to enable learners to develop their language and literacy skills and to extend their numeracy vocabulary. You may give examples from the session used in part B if you wish or refer to other sessions you have taught.



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