Math Ed Forum Meeting Minutes
Saturday, May 2 1998
10:30 am - 2:00 pm
10:30 am Welcome (Gary Flewelling)
10:35 Approval of Agenda
10:40 Approval of Minutes
10:45 Update on RFP
10:55 Discussion of High School Math Program
1:00 pm Future Forum activities
2:00 pm Adjourn
Present Elizabeth Ainslie, Paul Balog, Ed Barbeau, Shirley Dalrymple,
Chris Dearling, Gordon Dowsley, Gary Flewelling, Lynda Graham, Peter
Harrison, Bill Higginson, John Kezys, Kevin Maguire, Ken Marchant, Bill
McLean, Eric Muller, Melanie Myers, Todd Romiens, Marg Warren, Peter
Taylor, Walter Whitely, Mike Wierzba
Regrets: Peter Crippen, Judy Crompton, Don Curran, Gila Hanna, Myrna
Ingalls, Neal Madras, Doug McDougall, George Knill, John McKnight, Jeff
Roulet, Jeff Shifrin, Cheryl Turner
1. Welcome by Gary
3. Attendance at Meetings - Who in addition to members?
- A limited group of interested others will have an opportunity to "audit"
Forum meetings. - Forum members (see the constitution of the Fields
Mathematics Education Forum for identification of these members) only
will be involved in voting or determining consensus on an issue.
- Auditors will be able to observe Forum meetings and participate fully
in the informal portions of a meeting.
- Suggestion to have focus groups to which interested groups could be
- We should actively encourage people to come and sit in on the forum.
- People wanting to attend a Forum meeting would get in touch with Brenda
so that she could manage composition and numbers of auditors (there
would be a maximum)
- Steering committee may bring forward names of people who should be
asked to attend and be allowed to participate, for example, more people
from the French Language community
- Auditors will be invited to participate in an ongoing discussion via
e-mail. (This would occur on a second listserv. There would be two discussion
groups - one for forum members and one for a broader group
- Broad group can only post to the broad group. Forum members can post
to either or both groups.
- Listserv would allow you to group topics by threads.
- Would like to see a student, a teacher, a parent fire back - would
go to the second forum
- Broader listserv should be more than just Ontario - interprovincial,
- Ken Marchant will prepare a detailed proposal.
4. RFP Process - report by Shirley Dalrymple
- Ministry will announce results of bidding process shortly.
5. Discussion of Secondary Curriculum Writing
- just the policy document by itself will be very difficult for classroom
teachers to understand
- forum needs to have some say about teacher inservice - getting it
out there is going to be critical
- what is being said about assessment and evaluation? There will be
a report card tied to that curriculum - making a difference in 1 -8
- parents and teachers must be educated about the levels of performance
- often students cannot be level 4 because they are not being given
opportunities to be level 4
- What happens when the students don't meet the expectations?
- Students negotiating mathematics - how can students learn mathematics
productively - how do I write up a solution, how do I make myself clear?
- Mathematics forces precision
- Currently teachers teaching according to the lists - students often
don't get the experience of solving a whole problem - we hope new curriculum
will encourage students to have to organize and communicate their mathematical
thoughts and skills
- RLT's allow them a lot more freedom - there are a lot of ways to get
to the answer
- must respect the student's independence, creativity, and VOICE
- Need BIG IDEAS re: Pedagogy
- need a lot more resources that give the good Rich Learning Tasks
- Organizing notion - Landmark Problems - here are the things that students
should be able to tackle - If you are going to come to grips with this
problem then there are all sorts of skills, strategies, reasonings that
you would need to have - something a profile would write
- What about teachers that don't have a mathematics background? - Must
have flexibility - as process and content evolves teachers will become
more comfortable with it- Harvard document is a good example - thin
document has the objects and actions but then the supporting documents
provide the examples
- Field's Institute could be writing the RLT's
- The landmarks or RLT's should be "terrific" should give the feeling
that learning mathematics is "exciting"
- Recognize good teachers and produce a volume which talks what these
- What teachers do is important but what is ultimately important is
what STUDENTS CAN DO
Perspectives of Publishing Industry
- just beginning to do market research (finding out what teachers want)
- what secondary teachers are telling us is not what is being talked
- need to find balance between what will sell and what the direction
- always want to move teachers forward
- Do you want a resource which is compatible with a policy statement
or do you want a resource which is consistent with what the market wants?
- Recommendations have been made to Ministry that resources this time
round should only be approved if they are consistent with both the content
and the philosophy of policy documents
- Reminder of elementary resource situation - i.e. the market didn=t
select a resource like Interactions or Quest 2000 because it was far
from what they were used to - not what the market would have asked for
- After the EQAO testing, the sales of the book started to happen not
because it was what the market would have asked for but because it was
what the market now recognized they needed in order to implement the
- Hope that similar pressure will force change at secondary
6. Future Work of The Forum- continuation from last meeting
- need to define working groups to organize work of the forum
- possible titles for organizers
Communication - within, external
Outreach, Publicity, Proaction
Policy and Reaction
Contact between mathematicians and teachers
Coordination Between levels and disciplines
Discuss and provide recommendations and communications about key issues
in mathematics both with the educational and the broader community.
Example - The college of teachers is supposed to have a lot to say about
teacher training but who are they discussing it with and what is being
said? - maybe we say something about this
The group reached the conclusion that the Forum had focussed heavily
on Curriculum and now it was time to turn two related issues, Teacher
Support and Communication (Bring Math to the Public). Our discussions
should proceed in such a way that begin filling the following matrix
Purpose of the Forum
2. Bringing Math to the Public
- What do we need to do to prepare both the internal and external communities
for the new curriculum?
- The Need For Teacher Support - current lack of it, reality is that classroom
teachers will be teaching more, have less time for preparation, new curriculum
coming - how much inservice required, what types, where will funding come
from, what kinds of models possible
- The Need to Bring Math To The Public - public relations, research, support
- Maybe we need to look at what we have accomplished?
- Throughout the last 1.5 years we have developed a strong communications
network. We have gained a lot of credibility. We have gained a lot of
trust in each other.
- Must be careful not to be too ambitious. We are a forum. We facilitate
communication. Maybe we ask other groups like OAME, OMCA to take on other
- Just getting the pieces of paper out there isn't enough - the teachers
or the audience have to experience them in order to understand them and
be convinced to use them. Shirley shared example of the two trees and
teachers in Leadership. They had seen the two trees brochure before but
had not used it until they came to Leadership and got the chance to experience
it and play with it.
7. Meeting Adjourned: 2:15 pm
(Minutes taken by Marg Warren)
8. Next Meeting: Saturday, June 20, 10:30 am - 2:00 pm