MathEd Forum

January 19, 2018


Theme: Mathematics and Equity

September 27, 2014 at 10 am-2 pm
Fields Institute, 222 College Street, Toronto

Light refreshments will be available starting at 9:30 a.m. and lunch will be served at a convenient time during the meeting.

Fields staff will assist you with all audiovisual equipment before your talk. Our standard audio-visual equipment provided for a talk with slides is a screen with data projector and Fields laptop computer if needed. In addition our lecture room is equipped with chalk boards for your use. The standard options for slides are:
1. The preferred and most reliable option is a PDF file presented on a Fields computer. Please bring your slides on a USB key or send them in advance to : inquiries(PUT_AT_SIGN_HERE)
2. A PowerPoint presentation (any format) from your own laptop. Please bring your laptop at least 15 minutes in advance of the talk so we can assist you with the set up.

Please contact inquiries(PUT_AT_SIGN_HERE) if you have any questions about the AV set up.


Mathematics and Equity

10:00-10:10 AM Reports: OAME, OMCA, OCMA, CMESG, CMS, and other.

10:10-10:50 AM
Terrence Richard Blackman
(Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver):
Mathematics, mathematicians, mathematics education and equity

Abstract: I am one of a number of African American mathematicians engaged in Mathematics and Mathematics Education. Such outreach has a long and honorable tradition in the African American Community. In this talk, from a perspective of excellence and equity in Mathematics, I will illustrate the critical necessity for this engagement in Mathematics Education for mathematicians in general and for African American mathematicians in particular.

Biography: Dr. Terrence Richard Blackman is a Mathematician (Number Theorist) and a Mathematics Educator. He is Asst. Professor ( Mathematics Education) in the Department of Education Research, Policy & Practice in the Morgridge College of Education at The University of Denver. His primary responsibility at Morgridge is to develop content courses in mathematics that prepare prospective K-12 teachers to be able to meet the new and rigorous mathematics standards specified in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and to participate in the development of a doctoral program in Mathematics Education that emphasizes research in both Mathematics and Mathematics Education. Dr. Blackman graduated Cum Laude with honors in mathematics from Brooklyn College, CUNY and he holds M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees, in pure mathematics, from The Graduate School of City University of New York. Prior to arriving at the University of Denver, Dr. Blackman was a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where, in addition to his research, he taught the Freshman Calculus Class. Dr. Blackman is a founding faculty member of the undergraduate degree program in mathematics at Medgar Evers College. He has over twenty years of experience in teaching undergraduate mathematics with an emphasis on Number Theory and the Calculus sequence. He has created and directed numerous summer research projects. Most recently in the summer of 2013 he directed ten students at Medgar Evers College in an undergraduate research seminar in Spectral Geometry. He is the creator and founder of the Medgar Evers College Math Society and the Co-Founder and Director of The Frank Ragland Math Masters Institute an initiative designed to engage middle school students in Central Brooklyn in the development of their mathematical interests and talents. Dr. Blackman works on aspects of the Jacquet-Langlands correspondence in the Langlands program and on increasing the participation of African Americans in mathematics and the sciences. His research is focused on developing and implementing concrete strategies that support meaningful access to mathematics for underrepresented students. His research includes work on the use of number theory and technology in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Dr. Blackman is a frequent public speaker on issues related to African American success in mathematics. He was born in Georgetown, Guyana and he currently lives in Denver CO with his wife, Anna, son, Madiba, and daughter, Sasha.

Allan Pitman (Faculty of Education, Western University):
The changing definitions and contexts of school mathematics

Abstract: The talk will focus on two key points. The first part of the presentation will deal with the mathematical and learning theory shifts in the reforms of the past fifty years in school mathematics. The second will address the question of equity of access to good school mathematics and the mathematical and non-mathematical questions which must be asked. Examples will be drawn from several countries, including Canada, Australia, The United States, Pakistan, Iran and Slovakia.

Biography: Dr. Pitman has been involved in the mathematics education reforms since the 1960’s, having been a textbook contributor in the era of the “new mathematics” movement which had its origins in the 1950’s, peaking in the late 1960’s. In the 1980’s he worked closely with reform leaders in Australia and the United States on projects which had strong influences on the NCTM Standards documents which came to underpin much of the “new new math” in Canada in the period from the 1980’s to the present. The very different radical shifts which occurred at these times speak directly to the question of “What mathematics is intended for whom?”
In his later work he has been focusing on the ways in which cultural, social and political interests influence the mathematics curriculum and textbooks in a number of countries and considering what and who is favoured and excluded. The argument is that equity in the mathematics classroom cannot be achieved without a serious look at the sub-textual messages carried in the mathematics curriculum.
Originally a mathematics and physics teacher in Victoria, Australia, he has held academic positions at Deakin University in Australia and at the University of Western Ontario since 1977.

Steven Khan (Faculty of Education, Brock University):
A conversation that requires more of us: From Principles to Action in Achieving Excellence in Mathematics Education (in Ontario).

Abstract: In this conversation I draw upon emphases in Achieving Excellence (AE): A renewed vision for education in Ontario (2014) and the NCTM’s Principles to Actions (PtoA)(2014). In particular, I will attempt to frame AE’s stated goal of “Enhancing Public Confidence” and PtoA’s observation about the necessity of reducing professional isolation among mathematics educators as equity issues of concern to mathematics educators and mathematicians.
With respect to the former, enhancing public confidence, I suggest that mathematicians and mathematics educators need to be more mindfully engaged with popular media and local communities. Such engagement will bring to the fore questions of access, achievement identity, power and the difficult but not impossible construction of new more hopeful narratives in the current attention economy.
I will speak about the importance of reducing classroom educators’ sense of professional isolation, with respect to the learning and teaching of mathematics, and resiliency to vulnerability. I will draw from my experiences during my postdoctoral research, from the challenges of designing and facilitating an online course on equity in mathematics education as an adjunct instructor and my emerging sense of the challenges and opportunities in southern Ontario where I now reside.
I will challenge participants to share confidence-inspiring and connectedness-growing stories.

Biography: Steven Khan is currently an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Department of Teacher Education at Brock University. He completed his PhD at the University of British Columbia in 2012 where he was a Vanier scholar. Before returning to Ontario he was a Postdoctoral researcher on the Canadian Oil Sands Early Mathematics Initiative at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.
His research interests are interdisciplinary and are situated at the intersection of mathematical, aesthetic and ethical literacies and practices in educational settings. He has published on children’s consumer culture and complexity thinking, communication and discourses in mathematics classrooms, ethnomathematics and the steeldrum, mathematics art and ethics, ethics in academic publishing, disability studies, mythopoetic curriculum, popularisations and pedagogic film, enactivism and spatial reasoning, and the vulnerability thesis.
At present his foci are the structured, systemic, systematic, socially just and sustainable development of expertise, equity, and excellence amongst elementary mathematics teachers through lesson, concept, and learning studies; the relationships among teacher vulnerability, knowledge, privilege, educational context and (corporate) philanthropy in education; and preparation for fatherhood.

12:10-1:00PM LUNCH BREAK (Light refreshments provided)


Ana Isabel Sacristán (Dept. of Mathematics Education, Cinvestav-IPN, Mexico):
On the integration of digital technologies in mathematics classrooms: Support and innovation for learning?

Abstract: Digital technologies have invaded our lives and schools. However, how we use technology is probably even more important than the tools that we use. In this presentation we will discuss the ways in which digital technologies are or can be integrated into mathematics classrooms in order to enhance mathematical learning, as well as their potential for transforming and innovating school and teaching practices. In particular, one issue to consider is how digital technologies can transform mathematical knowledge itself. An important paradigm to consider when integrating these technologies is that of Constructionism; examples of integration of constructionist principles can be those of computer programming mathematical microworlds.

Biography: Ana Isabel Sacristán, PhD (from the University of London, UK) is a full researcher at the Department of Mathematics Education of the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav-IPN) in Mexico City, where she has worked since 1989. Her main area of research is on the teaching and learning of mathematics through digital infrastructures. She has many academic papers in that area, but has also developed tasks and authored materials for the Mexican Ministry of Education, in particular those for the national “Teaching Mathematics with Technology” program, on the use of computer programming activities with Logo for mathematics learning. She has trained teachers across Mexico and has led a nation-wide research and evaluation on the use of technological tools in Mexican classrooms. She has also been part of many international committees, including the International Programme Committee of the 17th ICMI Study on “Mathematics Education and Technology—Rethinking the Terrain” and been visiting professor in several countries, including the Institute of Education of the University of London in England; UQÀM, in Canada; and the French Institute of Education at Lyon-ENS in France.

1:40-2:00 PM General Discussion

2:00 PM Adjournmen

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