Math Ed Forum Meeting Minutes
Saturday, November 27, 1999
Prepared by Shirley Dalrymple
Present: Eric Muller, Bradd Hart (co-chairs) Rima Cohen, Lynda Colgan,
Judy Crompton, Shirley Dalrymple, Gord Doctorow, Gila Hanna, Peter Harrison,
John Ip, John Kezys, Jeff Shifrin, Eugene Silaev, Peter Taylor, Cheryl
Turner, Chen Weihan, David Zimmer
1. Minutes of the previous meeting:
Moved for acceptance Gila Hanna, seconded John Ip, motion carried
2. Mathematics Education of future teachers - Bradd Hart
The proposal addressed
- in-service and pre-service for new teachers
- the teacher shortage
The proposal went through two ministries but we did not receive funding,
it was suggested that the proposal be "fixed" up, run by the faculties
and tried again
The new proposal team: Eric Muller, Walter Whitely and Bradd Hart -
As an initial step they will consult many groups including Ministry
- The Field's Institute could coordinate a full day meeting in April.
The elementary shortage and mathematics education issues could be addressed
in the morning and secondary issues in the afternoon. Representatives
should include both Ministries, College of Teachers, 8 to 10 from the
Faculties of Education, and community person(s). There could be a series
of 3 or 4 short sessions for each panel. The number of people attending
should be restricted to less than 40.
- The goal would be to put together a new action plan to present again
to the Ministry. Judy Crompton suggested that a committee at the Ministry
could do the reading.
- It was stressed that it is critical that the College of Teachers be
involved; also that specific request be made regarding programs for
example the Mathematics Leadership Program at Queen's University and
that specific contact people who are looking at this should be invited.
- It was pointed out that mathematics education leadership has taken
on a different role than the other discipline groups and we might be
able to use this to our advantage.
- On November 17 and 18, 1998 there was a two day focus group meeting
to discuss the problem of the teacher shortage. At that time a large
number of directors were moving toward generalists which is in contradiction
to everything else that has been said. In attendance were Director's
of Education, retired Superintendents and other representatives. It
was organized and coordinated by MOE.
- It was suggested that the participation at the April meeting be by
invitation only, it should try to attract specialists in mathematics
at the Faculties of Education and Deans of Faculties so that decisions
can be made. It is important that we have the ability to make decisions
and make changes. Field's can make a difference. We need to look at
innovative programs, highlight some things that have been successful
and find programs that will attract students to mathematics education.
- We need to order the "Professionally Speaking" December "98 to use
the statistics that show that many Boards are already experiencing shortages
of French, Mathematics and Science teachers. The shortage seems to be
the worst in math and in the math at the secondary schools. There is
a general shortage in elementary school teachers. Queen's is giving
priority to math but 90% of the elementary applications are from women
who have very little math background.
- It was stated that applicants need some math and science for enrollment
for a career in teaching. He believes that the teaching requirements
are broader than they used to be but we don't have any hard data. A
change in entrance requirements may help. The MOE needs to be convinced
that the shortage of math teachers is critical. We could get The College
of Teachers' profiles on retirement rates and what this will mean in
terms of loss of specialists.
- It was suggested that we need a high profile person to speak at the
meeting such as Dr. David Foote.
- We need to work on getting and packaging some data to support our
position from places such as individual Boards and Faculties of Education.
- A two-year teacher education program may be needed.
- It was pointed out that these are not new issues; they have risen
elsewhere. It may be useful to get ads from various countries for ideas,
especially Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain.
- We may ask for submissions from many groups to spread a wider net.
- We need to take a long-term view.
- Since the government is likely to respond if it recognizes that there
is a crisis, we need to present the proposal that way. We may consider
hiring an expert at handling data
- The committee will take all the suggestions under advisement.
3. Grade 11 and 12 curriculum - Judy Crompton
- Judy discussed the history of the new policy document and shared some
items from the new menu that she was able to. Shirley Dalrymple shared
some of her department's experiences in implementing the new grade 9
curriculum. A discussion of where do we go from here with respect to
11 and 12 followed.
4. OMCA Activities - John Ip
- The last meeting was held in Hamilton and the main topic for discussion
was assessment. There will be a January 27/28, 2000 retreat devoted
to elementary and secondary assessment. OMCA sent a second letter to
- The elementary report card, reporting on 5 strands during each reporting
cycle which is not working and is creating artificial ways of reporting.
The letter included suggestions for change.
- The secondary issues are the lack of definition on how to use the
achievement chart, the grade 9 summative assessment, the lack of knowledge
of many grade 9 teachers, the difficulty of implementation and the lack
of confidence that teachers have.
- It was noted that here will be a Math Coordinators' meeting on Wednesday,
5. OAME Activities - Dave Zimmer
- OAME Annual Conference will be held in Ottawa in May
- Lots of in-service for grades 9 and 10 is needed especially around
developing and implementing a new course, using technology like the
graphing calculators and Geometer's Skethpad, and assessment.
6. Report on the Summer Institutes:
- The Summer Institutes were deemed a huge success reaching over 500
teachers from over 400 schools. OMCA provided the planning and delivery,
OAME provided the network and funding came from the publishers, Texas
Instruments and the Ministry.
- Future Summer Institutes are very likely but the money will go through
OTF, and the role of OMCA and OAME will be reduced.
- One of the issues that will block some of the implementation of grade
9 and 10 curriculum is that there is not enough technology, no access
to labs, difficulty of finding time for teaches to learn how to use
it, about 80% of the province may not be able to deliver.
7. Report on the June Technology Conference at Brock University - Eric
- It is the 20th anniversary year for OCMA.
- June conference will be held Thursday June 1 and Friday June 2. The
conference will provide an opportunity for professional development
and networking for members of the college faculties.
- This annual conference will be at the Kempenfeldt Centre. Topics include:
Testing at College, mathematics and English testing OCASS, keeping track
and developing instruments, collect data.
8. World Mathematics Year 2000
- CMS will form the base for information: let Eric Muller or Bill Langford
know of any activities
- There are many activities across Canada and all over the world, especially
in Quebec, France and Belgium
- These include: exhibits, conferences, celebrations, etc
- Field's will host events over the 10 days of June 1st to 10th such
- Industrial Math Workshop, Field's/Rom Symposium, Outreach to high
schools, History around the Field's Medal, Four day CMS meeting/joint
Future Meetings: Eric will be make contact to set some dates.
Summary of the conference
"Technology in Mathematics Education at the Secondary and Tertiary Levels"
held at Brock University, June 2-4, 1999
This conference provided a forum for mathematics educators who had researched
or employed technology in their classes at the secondary, college, or
undergraduate levels. The program, which included five Plenary speakers
and six concurrent Focus Groups, was modeled on similar conferences
entitled Studies sponsored by the International Commission on Mathematics
Instruction. To facilitate discussion the number of members within each
focus group, and thus in the conference, was limited. Most of the participants
were invited and through grants a number of PhD students were sponsored.
The five Plenary Speakers were Jonathan Choate (Groton School), Paul
Zorn (St. Olaf College), Jon Borwein (Simon Fraser University), Stephen
Watt (University of Western Ontario), and Loki Jorgensen (Simon Fraser
University). There were six Focus Groups:
FG 1 "Technology at the secondary school level" Leaders: Gary Flewelling
(Consultant) and Peter Harrison (Toronto District School Board)
FG 2 "Technology at the tertiary level - university" Leaders: Joel Hillel
(Concordia University) and Rob Corless (University of Western Ontario)
FG 3 "Technology at the tertiary level - college" Leaders: Jacqueline
Klasa (Vanier College) and Alan Cooper (Langara College)
(Due to conflict with other conferences this Focus Group was integrated
into the others)
FG 4 "Technology in mathematics teacher education" Leaders: Douglas
McDougall (OISE/University of Toronto) and Geoffrey Roulet (Queen's
FG 5 "Mathematics education and the Web at the secondary level" Leaders:
David Reid (Acadia University) and Ethel Thayer (Consultant Canada's
FG 6 "Mathematics education and the Web at the tertiary level" Leaders:
Keith Taylor (University of Saskatchewan) and Sarah Inkpen (Seneca College)
Proceedings are within a month of being published and will be made available
to Forum participants. They were edited by Bruce Cload and Tom Jenkyns
(Brock University). Conference participants were treated to a tour of
a winery and to a dinner at the Table Rock Restaurant over looking Niagara
This conference was made possible by grants from Brock University, The
Fields Institute, and SSHRC.