MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM

October 23, 2014

FIELDS MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM
MINUTES - November 23, 2002

Present: Ysbrand deBruyn, Rina Cohen, Stewart Craven, Shirley Dalrymple, George Gadanidis, Gila Hanna, Bradd Hart, Jonathan Kassian, John Kezys, Eric Muller, Melanie Myers, Geoff Roulet, Christiane Rousseau, Margaret Sinclair, Peter Taylor, Al Vilcius, Walter Whiteley

Regrets: Gord Doctorow

9:30 to 10:00 refreshments

10:00 start

1. Christiane Rousseau discussed the upcoming CMS Forum(s)
Documents associated with the presentation discussed the plenary sessions and working groups at the Forum, and can be accessed in PDF format by clicking the links.
-It was noted that there will be 2 Forums; the first taking place in Montreal, May 16-18, 2003
-Outside of Ontario, where there is no Fields Forum, it is diffucult to maintain formal organisation; the invitations will focus on people active in there communities ("multiplicators"), and invitations to the event will serve as encouragement and affirmation that the efforts of those people are being recognized.
-Some of the goals of the Forum will be: forming new collaborations, raising the Public's interest in Math Education, and teaching that critical thinking is important for society in general, and goes far beyond just math professionals. "Mathematics Trains the Brain"
-With students, it is necessary to start proper training young, and this requires teachers who are trained, respected, and have a long-term view of education.
-The idea was raised of having specific targets for the working groups to guide activities between the two Forums.
-It was noted that it should be decided at the outset whether the goal of the working groups is to undertake an in-depth examination, or whether there will be an attempt to produce a concerted official/political statement
-There was extensive discussion of whether groups should remain together for the duration of the working group sessions, or be switched up for discussions on each theme
-Each working group will produce a small report, which at the end will need to be distilled into an official report on each respective theme
-Some suggestions for guidance of working groups were: asking the scientific committee to propose blocks of working groups, so that a focus is maintained across various groups; looking to keynote speakers/plnaries to raise key questions for the working groups to address; clarifying structure and directives for the groups.
-It was noted that anyone committing to the first forum must also be prepared to participate in the second, and there was some discussion over carrying over of tasks and questions to the second forum
-"National issues" are important, but everything happens provincially, so there will have to be agreement on how the parts fit together

2. Geoff Roulet discussed the study being done by Alan King at Queen's around the Double Cohort
Geoff circulated a document which addresses the main issues of the study, and asks for input from professional math educators. The document can be found here and the Double Cohort: Phase 2 Report can be found at http://mettowas21.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/reports/dcohortp2.html
-Geoff noted that the reports have twice produced large funding surges, so they have certainly had an effect within the government
-Certain conclusions of the report were remarked on:
--the expected changes in subject enrolment (advanced vs. applied) between the new and old cohort have not occurred
--the new curriculum is leading to a drop in students achieving all necessary credits, producing more drop-outs; it was also noted that math credits are often the credits that are missing
--the new curriculum has shifted the marks curve to the left (marks down), and has produced a big downward jump in the applied stream; math marks are relatively down, while English marks have remained relatively static

3. Shirley Dalrymple discussed the MDM4U course
A document was circulated detailing recent developments at OAME. The document can be found here.
-The presentation made use of the discussion site at UWO, where educators can discuss their experiences and challenges with teaching the MDM4U Course.
-Many questions and comments about the website have pointed to the fact that the examples used on the site are flawed, and do not always make proper use of data, etc.; it was noted that the point of these examples is that they are representative of the type of work that teachers can expect to see from students
-When students are making their final presentations, they should focus on the product and some of the process, but they should be steered away from the trap of discussing the work they did.
-Copies of the MDM4U handouts are available on the following topics:
Culminating Project Peer Evaluation
Developing and Implementing an Action Plan
Games Fair
MDM4U Assessment
Portfolio Assessment
Project Topics
Project Topics 2
Written Project