
MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM 

December 20, 2014  
FIELDS MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM

Present: Bob Bryan, Aaron Childs, Stewart Craven, Shirley Dalrymple, Ysbrand de Bruyn, Cyril Garner, Miroslav Lovric, Eric Muller, Mollie O'Neill, David Poole, Fred Pulfer, Iouldouz Raguinov, Tom Salisbury, Silvana Simone, Reka Szasz, Peter Taylor, Matt Valeriote, Walter Whiteley
Regrets: Gila Hanna, Bradd Hart
1. Presentation by Shirley Dalrymple and Silvana Simone on Mathematics
involving double cohort
OAC (Calculus, Algebra, Geometry) and Grade 12 (Advanced Functions
and Introduction to Calculus, Geometry and Discrete Mathematics)
Shirley showed a video of Grade 12s and OACs worked through problems
and discussed what they thought about the problems and the steps they
took in solving them
 OAC students differentiated between difficult and unenjoyable more
than grade 12s
 OAC students also emphasized applicability of skills more than did
the grade 12s
Sample question given to both groups: "If a function is symmetric,
is its derivative symmetric?"
 12s have much more experience visualizing functions, whereas the
OACs used their calculators more
Questions about Categories of Mathematics: The big question about these
categories is how are teachers supposed to mark each one separately?
 Knowledge and understanding
 Application
 Thinking/Inquiry/Problem Solving
 Communication
Copies of handouts circulated during the presentation:
Assessment Rubrics
January 2003 Final Exam
Parametric Activity
Parametric Equations
Using Polynomials
in Design
Vector Performance
Tasks
Vitamin Calculus
The following handouts compare equivalent mathematics courses on either
side of the double cohort:
Comparison of OAC Finite
Math and Grade 12 Mathematics of Data Management
Comparison of OAC Calculus
and Grade 12 Advanced Functions and Introductory Calculus
Comparison of OAC Algebra and
Geometry and Grade 12 Geometry and Discrete
Some points/themes worth mentioning:
Student comments regarding technology generally focussed on visulaization
and how this can contribute to comprehension
It is important to distinguish between positivism and constructivism
Between the years, the content and other fundamentals have not changed
as much as the approach
It has in the past been very difficult to give kids the chance to figure
out problems themselves, and programs have often been teachercentric;
now, however, there is more of a studentcentric approach emerging;
before, the idea was "Just the facts," but now students are
being asked, "Why is this important?"
Similarly, social collaboration is emphasized/nurtured more in the
new curriculum.
Teachers may be moving away from 'teaching to the test', but there
is still the possibility of teaching towards expectations.
One major question to ask is whether the emphasis on thinking may somehow
hurt student ability to perform more basic tasks, such as textbook problems