April 20, 2014

Math Ed Forum Meeting Minutes

March 5, 1998

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Minutes taken by G. Flewelling

Present: Bill Allen, Kaye Appleby, Stewart Craven, Judy Crompton, Don Curran, Shirley Dalrymple, Chris Dearling, Sandy Dilena, Kiran Arora, Peter Harrison, Mary Howe, Myrna Ingalls John Ip, John Keys, Elizabeth Ainslie, George Knill, Bill Langford, Ken Marchant, John McNight, Kevin McQuire, Eric Muller, John Roger, Jeff Shifrin, Tom Steinke, Lorna Wiggan, Dave Zimmer (Ed Barbeau and Brendan Kelly arrived at 8:55)

Regrets: Paul Benders, Gila Hanna, Bill Higginson, Jacqueline Hill, Neal Madras, M. Minor, Nancy Moore, Geoff Roulet, Neal Shaw, Peter Taylor, Marg Warren, Walter Whiteley, Joan Wick-Pelletier

Meeting Chair: Bill Langford

The bid for the secondary curriculum contract was submitted to MET on Feb. 25.
There is no other bid submitted for math that we know of.
Judy Crompton gets project manager interview at the end of March.
Thanks to Judy, Myrna and Bill for their fine work submitting the RFP.
We will know the results of the bid by April 14-28, when contract will be awarded.
We agreed to a nine pm deadline for today's meeting.

They reviewed the OTF Curriculum Forum meeting with MET/expert facilitators. Gitterman and Laing made presentations (as per Stewart's e-mail)
There was to be no negotiation on Applied and
Academic streams and no real difference in the expectations, no difference in difficulty
Curriculum content to reflect kids leaving school in the following manner:20% university, 30% college, 50% other
We wanted one stream, plus Foundations courses (unfortunate name?) and bridging course for others
Looked at draft of 15 courses, some full, some half credit. Cabinet has passed the draft
Sylvia Solomon indicated that we could recommend something different (eg one stream, MET would 'listen'
There is provision to be made for locally developed courses (credit granting opportunities)
Transition/bridging courses will be written (under separate contract) by some other group not the winner of the present RPF.

Mary Lou Kestell reviewed the Expert Panel position
Push for general literacy test at end of Gr 10, not just reading and writing
Described Expert program proposal
ML fielded a number of question about their proposal


Dave Z talked about western idea of applied and pure/academic
expectation differences in level of performance in early grades)
Academic and Applied titles seem to be unfortunate.
What does Academic and Applied mean! Ministry needs to define terms.

Stewart Craven discusses their (OTF Curriculum Forum) recommendations
Dave Zimmer feels we can't talk about courses without knowing the content of them
Foundations courses would be for the 'low performers'
Don Curran likes the idea of short bridging courses.
We need to have major change - not the old stuff with different names

Ironies of destreaming - the areas hurt the most were the low socio-economic levels but in the high socio-economic areas nothing changed. With destreaming in poor schools - all grade 9 kids took math at a low level - the smart kids took that much longer to catch up.
True if content model that we now have stays the same.
Not true if we give all kids active, rich-learning task organization, make your choices based on what you have been able to do. Lay-in the heavy duty algebraic manipulation in grade 11 if we didn't beat them over the heads with it in grade 9 and 10.
Can we differentiate between the groups by whether they are very calculator dependent or do it in their heads. Or those who live in their heads. If the sorter is the actions the kids do and the tools they use. Less notation, less rigor-- Similar outcomes.
The labels matter the most - academic/applied: parents will still pick academic
Most powerful part of this political decision is that gr 9 and 10 be built on the same learning outcomes. How to handle kids who do not perform well?
Let's call it "math with technology" and "math with pencils."(?)
All strands present in both grade 9 and 10.
Do we separate content by grade? rather then repeat, repeat - let the math arise from the contexts...
Robust tasks
Curriculum defined provide examples of limiting cases (want kids to solve problems like this but the algebraic sophistication not beyond this)
Leave some time not defined - teachers fill it with what they want... where the problems lead.
Do less and do it better.

Indicate that we love your (MET) program and then we write what we feel is needed.
George asked, "Are we answering your questions appropriately?"
Stewart and Shirley felt like they were getting a sense that the group had the same concerns and that we were on the same wavelength.
How do we implement it? Guarantee implementation?
How many full courses do students need to go to certain destinations?
All students have demands on their lives that they need math for. Heavy requirements for mathematical literacy.

Maybe we need to think about destinations as the math kids will do after high school
Pre-linear algebra
Pre-discrete mathematics
Financial mathematics
Vectors, matrices
Data manipulation and probability
Generalized problem solving
Generalized problem solving

The great hope is that students will come to us with a better background in mathematics - from their rich elementary school background.
Compulsory Finance/statistics grade 11- Judy expressed her pleasure at seeing this credit.
Much concern about the idea that this course and only this be compulsory for all students. Maybe there is overlap here with Finite mathematics.
Fine, we like your model, let's make further suggestions for the writing team.
Mathematics for computer science - computer logic
The big questions: give us a list of things you think the average citizen needs to graduate and we'll create you good courses.
The general public and the Ministry want very little. They want people to understand simple relationships, simple percent, ability to work with digital readout.
The most restrictive university programs will require 3 mathematics courses (engineering, math science) will require 3 grade 12 courses. Others will require 2 grade 12 courses. Economics and will require Calculus.
Need to pick up on the mathematics of computer science to be built into the Core mathematics program.
We need to be careful that we not restrict the curriculum writing process.
Questions: any francophone input?
We should invite them to join this discussion.

REMINDER: March 15 deadline for applications to Fields Institute for funding of Mathematics Education Projects - details on website

Gary Flewelling handed out a draft 7-page article that he had written on the qualities and significance of rich learning and assessment tasks. RLT's and RAT's figure strongly in our discussions. Input is invited. We will try to get copies out to absent members.

David Zimmer handed out the latest Harvard materials ( Interesting transformation, closely approximating our own curriculum model. Agenda for next meeting to be developed by the Steering Committee (input the College of Teachers? pick up on the brainstorming?

We need to keep talking on the Web (in preparation for the next OTF Curriculum Forum meeting with MET Mar 12 and after, to further inform our curriculum writing team.

Next Meeting of Fields Forum
Saturday , March 28, 1998 - 10:00-2:00

Next Meeting - May 2, 1998