Math Ed Forum Meeting Minutes
Saturday May 5, 2001
Present: Eric Muller (Chair), Stewart Craven, Shirley Dalrymple, Sandy
Dilena, Gila Hanna, Bradd Hart, John Kezys, Miroslav Lovric, Pat Rogers,
Eugene Silaev, Peter Taylor, Cheryl Turner, Diane Wymal, Walter Whiteley
Apologies: Ed Barbeau, Claire Burnett, Alison Gibbs, Ed Haley, Doug
McDougall, Tom Sutton, Christine Suurtamm
The Chair welcomed everyone to this meeting and thanked them for giving
up such a sunny Saturday.
The Agenda items that had been circulated were delayed until the group
had devoted some time to consider the morning's Globe and Mail article
by Margaret Wente entitled "Go figure, Ashley can't". There was a general
consensus that the Forum should not reply to this particular article
but should consider submitting a longer article for Education pages.
This article should raise the level of debate of Mathematics Education
in Ontario and provide both (all) sides of the argument. Consideration
should be given to structuring an Ad hoc committee to develop such an
article that would be submitted to education reporters in various newspapers.
Reports from Task Force:
Mathematics Teacher Education, (Walter Whiteley, Eric Muller) This Task
Force has not met since the last Forum Meeting but has moved ahead on
developing substantial documentation to inform and attract future teachers
to mathematics. Once this is complete the Task Force will develop a
small poster to draw both high school, college and university students
to this web information.
Secondary, College, University Interface (Stewart Craven) Although no
meetings have been held since the last Forum meeting there have been
some communications about the Grade 12 Mathematics of Data Management
course. Some strong support by the Economics Department at McMaster
University was received for that course. There are still a number of
university programs with admission anomalies which the Task Force plans
to address. It may be useful for the Task Force to inform Mathematics
and other Departments in Colleges and Universities about what differences
can be anticipated from students graduating from the new curriculum
and to inform them of student selection trends in Grade 11 U and U/C
courses. It may also be beneficial to keep Math Heads informed about
information links about U and U/C courses.
On-line mathematics courses (Stewart Craven) The planning is well underway
for a two and a half day, by invitation only, conference in Toronto
during the middle week of November. Mary Lou Kestell and Mary Beam are
in charge of the scientific program. One of the objectives of this conference
is a white paper.
Grade 12 Mathematics of Data Management (Shirley Dalrymple, Sandy Dilena)
Shirley and Sandy made a presentation on the various materials that
the Task Force had developed. The presentation centered on what they
were planning to do at OAME 2001. Because time ran out participants
asked them to continue this presentation at the next and last meeting
of the Forum for this Academic year.
Short report by the Mathematics Teacher Education Task Force
Members of the Mathematics Teacher Education Task Force believe that
their work on Pre-service education has gone about as far as it can
to address the shortfall of mathematics teachers in Ontario. The Task
Force hosted a meeting of representatives from many educational jurisdictions
to focus on different mathematics teacher education issues in Ontario.
It met with Chairs of University Mathematics Departments to encourage
them to develop appropriate courses for future teachers and to consider
future teachers who are developing mathematics as their second area
of specialization. It tried to encourage Faculties of Education in all
universities to be more receptive to applicants who present mathematics
as one area of specialization. It has planned a campaign aimed at both
secondary and post secondary students to inform them of the shortage
of qualified mathematics teachers in Ontario and to propose that they
consider mathematics as an area of specialization. To this end the Task
Force has prepared information that is now located on a number of Fields
A welcome page will be designed which will also be used on a small poster
that will be sent to all secondary schools, colleges and universities
Members of the Task Force would like to suggest to the Forum that their
work has increased their understanding of the magnitude of the problem
of mathematics teacher supply and demand. Their investigations have
also increased their understanding of the complexity of the issue. If
the Forum or anyone else wishes to address this issue they will need
to involve, at a minimum, the College of Teachers, the Ministry of Education,
OAME, OMCA, school boards, faculties of education, university mathematics
departments, and university registrars. The message is - The Task Force
has gone as far as it can, there is still a major problem, but the Fields
Mathematics Education Forum can not do more.
For these reasons members believe that it is appropriate to disband
the present Task Force. They recommend that, at an appropriate time,
the Forum consider structuring a new Task Force to work on Mathematics
Teacher In-Service Education.