MathEd Forum

April 19, 2014

MathEd Forum


Fields MathEd Forum: Digital Literacy

Saturday, March 27, 2010, 10am-2pm
Fields Institute, 222 College St. 2nd floor, Toronto


Morning program:

10:00 - 10:10AM Reports: OAME, OMCA, OCMA, CMS, and other.

10:10-10:40AM plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion

Susan Gerofsky (UBC): A theoretical basis for mathematics as performance in education
Mathematics learning in its most conservative, traditional sense invokes images of teachers lecturing and students sitting quietly at individual desks, taking notes and working on exercises and problems.
Performance, on the other hand, might conjure up pictures of actors, dancers and musicians on stage, actively engaged in putting on a show for an audience. Unless we use a very reduced idea of the word performance (as in 'performance on a test'), the worlds of mathematics learning and performances appear to be far apart. How then can we talk about mathematics learning in terms of 'mathematical performances'?
This talk will address the idea of mathematical performances by taking a close look at what is meant by performance in contemporary society. I will draw on ideas from performance theory (Schechner, Turner, Sutton-Smith), genre analysis (Miller, Williams, Smart & Gilbert), drama in education (Heathcote, Bolton) and digital literacy studies (Gee, Schaeffer) to develop a multifaceted concept of performance, and then revisit the idea of mathematical performances in education with this in mind. I will show videotapes from my own Graphs and Gestures project as an example of one way that mathematical performances can help kids learn math in secondary schools.

10:50-11:20 AM plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion

Debbie Soares (Brasil): Investigating an Ordinary Differential Equation Model with Modellus: a pilot project
In this presentation I will present a pilot project developed in the second semester of 2009 which is related with my PhD proposal. The context of my research is the unique Calculus course offered in the Biological Sciences Course at State University of São Paulo - Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil. The course includes functions, limits, derivatives and integrals.
The aim of my research proposal is to investigate how Biology undergraduates use the software called Modellus to construct their knowledge about Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE) as they analyse biological phenomena. Since ODE is not on the course syllabus the research also intends to investigate the feasibility of an early introduction of this topic, along with the use of Modellus in such a course.
The pilot project was conducted with two students who had taken the Calculus discipline in the previous semester. We had two meetings of approximately two hours each. They analysed the solutions of an ODE model of the spread of Malaria in the Amazonian region using the software Modellus. Some activities I've prepared guided their analyses. These activities attempted to use some concepts of the Calculus discipline as a tool to analyse the solutions of the model and promote a connection between this analyse and the original phenomenon. Through the work with Modellus the students were able to develop some conclusions about the model and also some conjectures about the phenomenon, even though they've never studied ODE before.

Jeffrey Irvine (Ministry of Education): Update on two new ministry initiatives for elementary students (WINS--Winning with Instructional Navigation Supports, and Grade 6 Gap Closing)

Shirley Dalrymple (TDSB): The GAINS Adobe Connect book study initiative

12PM-1:00PM Lunch Break

Iain Brodie (TDSB): Hands on demo of one of the online programs used to get the kids to talk through, explain, and tell stories about things; plus videos and comics created by students.

1:30-2:00PM: Discussion.

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