FIELDS MATHEMATICS EDUCATION FORUM
MINUTES - June 8, 2002
From: Eric Muller
Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2002 12:08 PM
Cc: Shirley Dalrymple; Gary Flewelling; Gila Hanna; Bradd Hart; Eric
Muller co-chair; Pat Rogers; Tom Stienke; Maryam Ali
Subject: Response to CMS Forum organizers
Thank you for the work that you and the Scientific Committee are doing
develop the two CMS Mathematics Education Fora.
Last Saturday, at its monthly meeting, the Mathematics Education Forum
the Fields Institute briefly discussed the proposed Agenda for the first
CMS Mathematics Education Forum. The information available to members
not include your latest communication on Thematic Activities. Members
were present at the meeting expressed an interest in the two Fora and
the following suggestions:
It is our understanding that two CMS Fora are planned in order to provide
time for studies in the intervening time and therefore make it more
that outcomes will have some influence on mathematics education in
Canada. The Fields Forum has a membership that spans elementary,
secondary, and post secondary mathematics education with representation
from other interested parties. Much of its tangible work is achieved
through Task Forces that have and are, over a significant period of
addressing major concerns relating to mathematics Education in Ontario.
believe that some of these issues are of importance to mathematics
education across Canada and if integrated into the first CMS Forum would
provide the means for continuing study in the time between the two Fora.
Here are the significant comments that were raised during the rather
discussions held at the Fields Forum
1. The classroom is where the majority of Canadians learn their
mathematics. It is therefore critical for the first CMS Forum to set
stage for exploring ways to support and disseminate exemplary teaching
practice. This major focus of the CMS Fora's work should be established
early. The Fields Forum recommends that the second session of the Agenda
focus on exemplary mathematics teaching practices and explore ways for
classroom teachers to reflect and experience these.
It is noted that much of what is presently proposed in the second session
occurs outside the regular classroom. They are important but are less
likely to impact the majority of mathematics teachers and students.
presently scheduled session could be moved to a place later in the Agenda.
2. Although Pre-service Teacher Education (please use this term rather
than Training) is of fundamental importance, it is recognized that this
preparation (in terms of mathematics admission requirements and mathematics
instruction) is very heterogeneous between and within the Canadian
Provinces. One of the Working Groups at the Montreal meeting of CMESG
looked into that and the organizers of that session may still have the
data. It is very unlikely that one or even two CMS Fora will be able
impact this situation in any significant way. However sessions on the
In-service of teachers could produce real exemplars of In-service
mathematics teacher education that could be placed on the Web and used
across Canada. It is therefore recommended that the majority of the
be placed on In-service. Ontario, like many jurisdictions is moving
time of critical shortage of mathematics teachers. The Fields Forum
had a Task Force on developing strategies to interest young people to
into a career of teaching mathematics. If other Provinces are also
projecting a shortage of mathematics teachers a session addressing this
concern would be helpful.
3. There is growing interest on On-line mathematics teaching and learning,
and the political forces are such that it will not go away. The Fields
Forum has a Task Force that has been addressing this issue for over
year. The development of on-line courses will impact mathematics education
at all levels including the mathematics education of teachers. It is
proposed that one or part of one session be devoted to this issue.
I hope that the Scientific Committee will find these comments useful.
Fields Forum may find the time to continue its discussion of the Agenda
the first CMS Forum at its next meeting in June.
Co-chairs, Mathematics Education Forum
The Fields Institute