FIELDS INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH IN MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES
10:00-10:10AM Reports: OAME, OMCA, OCMA, CMESG, CMS, and other.
Chris Suurtamm (University of Ottawa):
Current research and thinking in assessment in mathematics: Setting
Abstract: This overview will present current research and thinking
in assessment with a focus on assessment that supports student
learning, enhances achievement and creates a classroom culture
of success (Black & Wiliam, 1998). Current thinking in assessment
aligns well with current thinking in mathematics teaching and
learning as both recognize that learning mathematics is complex
and multidimensional and cannot be adequately supported and measured
by an end of unit test alone (Brookhart, 2003; Delandshere &
Petrosky, 1998). A variety of assessment strategies need to be
used. Assessments that are aligned with and support effective
mathematics instruction focus on important mathematical concepts,
present a comprehensive view of mathematics, include the full
range of mathematical activity and reflect the important role
of problem solving (Graue & Smith, 1996; NCTM, 1995; Shepherd,
2001). Thus, assessment in mathematics must go beyond focusing
on how well a student uses a memorized algorithm or procedure
but must also elicit, assess and respond to students' mathematical
understandings (NCTM, 1995).
Biography: Chris Suurtamm began her career as a secondary school
mathematics teacher and department head. She is currently an Associate
Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Ottawa.
Her expertise in assessment is well recognized. She has been invited
to serve as Co-Chair of Topic Study groups on assessment at the
International Congress in Mathematical Education (ICME) - 12 in
Korea in 2012 and ICME-13 in Hamburg, Germany in 2016. She is
also the invited editor of the upcoming book Annual Perspectives
in Mathematics Education (APME) 2015: Assessment to enhance learning
and teaching, to be published in Spring 2015 by the National Council
of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
David Poole (Trent University): (slides)
Post-Secondary Assessment Blues.
Abstract: I will briefly describe various assessment strategies
that I have used over the years in a variety of university mathematics
courses. The courses range from first to fourth-year and have
included quite heterogeneous student audiences. I will also describe
how the assessment methods are related to the teaching methods
employed in these courses which, in turn, connect to the students'
multiple learning styles.
Biography: David Poole is Professor of Mathematics at Trent University
in Peterborough, Ontario, where he has taught since 1984. He is
the recipient of an OCUFA Teaching Award, a 3M Teaching Fellowship,
and the Canadian Mathematical Society's Excellence in Teaching
Iain Brodie (Toronto District School Board):
Assessment and Evaluation in Cooperative Settings - A Tale
of One Small Class. (slides)
Abstract: Assessment and evaluation are not the same thing. According
to Growing Success (2010), "Assessment is the process of
gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student
is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course.
The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning."
To this I would add a secondary purpose which is that assessment
of student work or thinking helps to improve teacher learning.
In our cooperative setting, feedback goes in both directions.
The teacher helps guide the students, but just as importantly,
the students help guide the teacher to create better learning
opportunities for the class or individual. Assessment for learning
goes both ways.
In our cooperative classroom, we do not rush to evaluate. Evaluation
is done at the end of learning. This does not mean that we do
not judge ourselves in relation to the standards. We use the standards
as grade level learning points to look forward to, or frequently
to look back at as we have surpassed them. As we grow as a class
of mathematicians, we have become better able to use assessment
as learning to help move ourselves forward in our abilities.
The techniques to accomplish assessment in a cooperative setting
are profoundly simple, yet deeply meaningful. Observation, questioning,
and perhaps most importantly, listening are three techniques that
are invaluable for teachers in helping to assess individual student
progress within a cooperative learning setting. As these are necessarily
done in a group setting, assessment is beginning to be seen as
something we all can do. This has helped us move beyond simple
cooperation towards creating a learning community.
Biography: Iain Brodie is a teacher with the Toronto District
School Board. Over the course of twenty-four years, he has taught
from grades 1 to 6 with extensive experience in the primary level,
especially combined grades. Working on an M.Ed. in mathematics
curriculum, he is currently working on research into expanding
the learning community to validate and include the mathematical
knowledge of parents.
Shirley Dalrymple (Ministry of Education):
Assessment - How will I know? How will they know? It's more than just
a grade! (slides)
Abstract: The Growing Success Policy Document states that "The
primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve learning."
This presentation will highlight examples from my teaching and
learning experiences as I worked to incorporate the "Seven
Fundamental Principles" of assessment into my practice. I
will share a variety of assessment practices that helped me to
determine what the students knew and could do but also helped
the students to determine for themselves what they knew and what
they needed to work on. (Assessment for and as learning) I will
also share how I tried to involve my students in learning activities
and worked to engage them in problem solving and collaborative
investigations aligned to the curriculum, in order to support
both procedural and conceptual understanding. In light of this
I had to shift my practice so that curriculum, instruction, and
assessment were also aligned, particularly when the focus of my
assessment was on the evaluation of student achievement for reporting
purposes (Assessment of learning). Further, I will provide several
examples of my own professional development in the area of assessment
as I was learning to deal the changes that a balanced assessment
Biography: Shirley is a retired mathematics department head from
York Region District School Board, and is currently working as
a provincial facilitator on contract to the Ministry of Education.
She has twenty years of experience in the classroom as well as
a two-year secondment to the Curriculum, Assessment and Policy
Branch at the Ministry of Education. Shirley has taken a leadership
role in numerous provincial projects including Grade 9 Gap Closing,
CLIPS, TIPS4RM, MDM4U development, Math CAMPPP, OAME Leadership,
and she was on the Steering Committee for the Field's Mathematics
Education Forum for many years. Shirley also served as an OAME
board member for over a decade and is a past president of OAME.
12:00-1:00PM LUNCH BREAK (Light refreshments provided)
Judy Mendaglio (Peel District School Board):
I can see how it can work in other disciplines but not in
a math class.
Abstract: In 2010, the Ministry of Education released its assessment,
evaluation, and reporting policy document, Growing Success".
In September of 2010, it was to be implemented in all classrooms,
for grades 1 - 12. Here we are, almost 5 school years later, and
these policies are still not finding their way into teacher practice
in the secondary mathematics classroom. Why? What are the barriers
that cause the teacher-employee to disregard the policies of their
employer? In this talk, I will provide a brief overview of the
Growing Success document and present practices used by my teaching
team that allow for an easy transition from the "quiz-chapter
test" model of evaluation to a model that supports the Seven
Fundamental Principles as outlined in Growing Success.
Biography: Judy Mendaglio is a secondary school teacher in the
Peel District School Board. She is a part-time instructor in the
Faculty of Education of Western University. She was previously
a secondary teacher in the Toronto District School Board and a
part-time instructor at Sheridan College and Centennial College.
Before entering the education field, she worked in the private
sector in the financial services industry in several capacities.
Judy is currently on the Steering Committee of the Fields MathEd
Forum, on the Executive of the Board of Directors of the Ontario
Association for Mathematics Education and a member of their Curriculum
Committee. She has been involved in many writing projects for
OAME as well as the Ministry of Education and has edited publications
for McGraw-Hill. Judy is this year's recipient of OAME's Award
for Exceptional and Creative Teaching in Secondary Mathematics.
As well, her grade 9 team of teachers was recognized this year
by Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) for the
improvement in their results on the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics.
1:30 - 2:00PM Panel-led discussion of challenges and dilemmas
in assessment and evaluation in mathematics education.
Abstract: Wiliam (2011) points out that the teacher plays the
critical role in the formative assessment process. However, implementing
assessment practices to align with a focus on assessment that
is imbedded in instruction and responds to student thinking can
pose significant challenges. We explore these challenges through
discussion with the panel of practitioners who have shared their
assessment practices as well as with the Fields Math Education
Forum audience participants. We also examine these challenges
through the use of a framework of dilemmas (Suurtamm & Koch,
2014; Windschitl, 2002) that helps to organize our thinking around
recognizing and addressing such challenges and dilemmas.
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