FIELDS INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH IN MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES
MATHED FORUM MEETING AGENDA
31, 2015 at 10 am-2 pm
Institute, 222 College Street, Toronto
Reports: OAME, OMCA, OCMA, CMESG, CMS, and other.
10:10-11:10AM Ann Kajander (Lakehead University, recipient
of the Margaret Sinclair Memorial Award for Innovation and Excellence
in Promoting Mathematics Education):
Tears, trials, and transformations: The requirement of deep teacher
knowledge development in mathematics education.
Abstract: Appropriate mathematical knowledge as needed
for elementary classroom teaching has been an important research
topic during the last decade. Data from the most recent two years
of a longitudinal database related to prospective teacher mathematical
understanding will be presented. Support for recommendations for
program changes in teacher education programs will be provided
via quantitative and qualitative data, including the participants'
Bio: Ann Kajander, winner of the 2014 Margaret Sinclair
Award, is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at
Lakehead University. Her research is aimed at supporting the development
of mathematical content knowledge as needed for teaching at the
elementary level, and recently she co-authored a mathematics textbook
for elementary teachers based on this work. Ann will be introduced
by Walter Whiteley (The Chair of the Margaret Sinclair Memorial
11:10 - 11:50 Joyce Mgombelo (Brock University):
Rethinking the use and availability of resources in mathematics
teaching and learning
Abstract: It is very clear among mathematics educators
that resources are part and parcel of mathematics teaching and
learning processes. Not surprising, the issue of resources is
more prominent in any mathematics education reform or innovation.
Yet, despite of the importance of resources in mathematics teaching
and learning, the issue of availability and use of the resources
is far from being clear. For example studies have shown that more
resources or less resource does not necessarily mean better or
worse mathematics teaching practice. In this presentation, I will
discuss the issue of resources in mathematics teaching and learning.
I will do so in the context of international projects that aimed
at researching possibilities and developing capacity for mathematics
teaching and learning in rural and remote areas in a developing
Bio: Joyce Mgombelo is an Associate Professor of Mathematics
Education at Brock University. Her research program focuses on:
mathematics cognition; identity; and ethics- based on principles
of human cognition. This work is developed from the theoretical
perspectives of enactivism, complexity science and psychoanalysis.
Mgombelo's most recent work includes the SSHRC funded research
project, "Partnership Development to Research Possibilities
for Primary Mathematics Teacher Development in Rural and Remote
areas" and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
(DFATD) development project, "Capacity Development for mathematics
teaching in rural and remote communities in Tanzania" with
Simmt and Glanfield (University of Alberta).
11:50-12:00PM 1st short oral: Yasmine Abtahi (University
"A quarter wouldn't be that": Mathematical tools and
the emergence of ZPD.
Abstract: Although mathematical tools have an important
role in the learning of fractions, the extent to which they are
useful (or not) depends on how the child interacts with them.
In my study, I focused on the physical properties the mathematical
tools like, for example, the ways in which beads and rods are
organized in an abacus. More specifically, I looked to see if
the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) emerged as children interacted
with the mathematical used. To investigate, I performed a meta-analysis
of 52 activities drawn from the literature, as children used mathematical
tools to solve fraction-related tasks. My preliminary analysis
shows that in the interaction of children with the tools, children
used the guidance provided by the tools to solve the fraction
tasks. This finding suggested the possibility of the emergence
of the ZPD in children's interaction with the tools.
Short Bio: I am a PhD student at University of Ottawa.
I am interested in "things kids think with"; that is
mathematical tools that kids interact with to learn mathematics.
My research looks at tools, both ones that are designed in a way
that carry mathematical meanings, such as an abacus, and ones
that are not necessary designed that way, such an apple or a piece
of paper. To analyse children's interactions with these tools,
I look at both children's perception and the physical properties
of the tools.
12:00 -1:00PM LUNCH BREAK (Light refreshments provided)
1:00-1:10 PM 2rd short oral: Chester Weatherby, Douglas Woolford,
& Donna Kotsopoulos (Wilfrid Laurier University): Streaming
protocols for university level mathematics: The effects of placement
tests on first-year calculus achievement.
Abstract: There is a growing concern that post-secondary
students are under prepared to meet the demands of post-secondary
mathematics. Recent Statistics Canada data reports that 32% of
university students are underprepared for university mathematics
(Statistics Canada, 2014). Similarly, data emerging from the Ontario
College Student Achievement Project reports that 31.5% of students
are at risk during their first year of studies (College Student
Achievement Project, 2014).
In an attempt to align students' mathematical abilities with an
appropriate first-year course (Calculus), many universities use
a placement test streaming protocol. In this talk, we will discuss
placement tests and their effectiveness and also present some
results from the most recent cohort of first-year Calculus students
at Wilfrid Laurier University. In particular, we will present
some preliminary exploratory analyses which reveal that the score
on our own placement test does not appear to be a strong predictor
of a student's success in first-year Calculus. We will also discuss
how these results fit in with an ongoing longitudinal study examining
the factors that contribute to success in first-year mathematics.
Bio: Chester Weatherby is an Assistant Professor at Wilfrid
Laurier University where he began in 2013. He obtained his PhD
in 2009 in Number Theory from Queen's University, and held postdoc
positions at the University of Delaware (2009 - 11) and Queen's
(2011 - 2013). After teaching a large number of Calculus classes,
he became interested in exploring what contributes to student
success. Joining the department at Wilfrid Laurier has provided
a great opportunity to explore this issue further as a new direction
in his research. Chester will present the project that is joint
work with Donna Kotsopoulos (Wilfrid Laurier University) and Doug
Woolford (Wilfrid Laurier University).
1:10-1:20 PM Questions and Discussion of short orals
1:20-2:00 PM Richard Barwell (University of Ottawa).
Researching language in mathematics education
Abstract: Since the mid-twentieth century, the linguistic
turn in the social sciences has led to an increasing interest
in and focus on the role of language in organising and producing
social life. This linguistic turn is apparent in research in mathematics
education, with a growing interest in language and discourse from
the 1980s onwards. In this presentation, I look at how a focus
on language and discourse contributes to understanding various
different aspects of mathematics education, including mathematics
classroom interaction, mathematics classroom texts, public mathematical
discourse and the research process itself. Drawing on examples
from various research projects, I highlight different ways in
which language is a crucial dimension of the social organisation
of mathematics in different contexts.
Bio: Richard Barwell is Professor of Mathematics Education
at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa and current
editor of For the Learning of Mathematics. His research interests
include linguistic and discursive issues in mathematics education,
teaching and learning mathematics in bilingual or multilingual
contexts, and environmental sustainability and mathematics education.
His work has been published in journals of mathematics education,
applied linguistics, and general education.
2:00 PM ADJOURNMENT
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