MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM

December 21, 2014

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.

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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 webpages,
http://www.fields.toronto.edu/programs/mathed/future_teachers/
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 in Ontario.

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.