MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM

November 26, 2014

FIELDS MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM
MINUTES - October 19, 2002

9:30 to 10:00 refreshments

10:00 start

1. Eric Muller was congratulated on winning the prestigious Michael Smith award for the Promotion of Science in Canada. Eric (center) is pictured here accepting the award with this year's recipients.

2. Ed Barbeau reported that a Transition from High School to University Meeting will be held November 7th, from 4-9 pm, at the Fields Institute. He added that he had written a paper discussing the new curriculum (found here), and encouraged others to do the same. Bradd noted that this would be a good topic for online discussions.

3. Brief discussion on MDM4U. It was noted that students taking the Data Management course were not necessarily mathematically-inclined, but were sharp (mostly University-bound), and able to handle the material.

4. Discussion of February On-line Meeting
George Gadanidis circulated an informal schedule for the February meeting (available here)
-The 10 days prior to the meeting will have a secure website for participants to look into on-line math education websites that are currently operating. The key to this phase is including online programs which have been tested in the classroom.
-The issue was raised of whether online math is an entirely new area, whether developers are thinking of the frontiers made possible by technology, and whether this changes the content of the mathematics or just the form?
-Lack of College representation at the meeting is an issue, since they are furthest ahead in online learning
-There should be examination of issues such as remedial models and resource limitations.
-It was added that in order to truly understand an online course, one had to actually go through one in order to see what are the limitations and possibilites.
-With proprietary software, how ill learning take place outside the classroom?
-Once needs have been established, is there a willingness to put in whatever is necessary to make sure these needs are met?

5. Tom Steinke - FATHOM Workshops
Tom described the workshops, which had taken place in summer 2002 in Toronto, Ottawa, London, Kingston and Sudbury
The Rectangles Activity Handout provided an example of the type of activities undertaken in the workshop
There was also a demonstration of Module One, which demonastrated the multimedia applications of the FATHOM program
-the workshops were not oriented towards learning how to use FATHOM, but to learn how kids learn to use FATHOM
-the feedback was extremely positive, and all responses in a satisfaction survey averaged over 3 out of 4
--the only disagreement had come around expectations regarding the length and pace of the workshops
-It was noted that many teachers referred to the Data Management course as the FATHOM course, signalling that they were having difficulty separating the content of the course from the tools used to teach the course, likely due to some degree of technological backwardness
-One of the most heated discussions had taken place over what constituted inappropriately fitting a model to data, and several questions of this nature had challenged teachers to think about the how the tools related to the content of the course