Mathematics and Society

WG 1a 

Mathematics education in the aboriginal community 

[Report] 
WG 1b 

Early numeracy: Developing Mathematical Literacy in the Early Years 

WG 1c 

Why is mathematics relevant in our society? 

[Report] 
WG 1d 

Supporting Student Success – Helping students reach their potential 

[Report] 

Mathematics in the Classroom

WG 2a 

Creating a curriculum that affords learners opportunity to develop powerful mathematics 

[Report] 
WG 2b 

Learning in the presence of technology 

[Report] 
WG 2c 

Mathematics through the eyes of a child 

[Report] 
WG 2d 

Classroom practice and mathematics education research 

[Report] 

The Mathematics Education Community in Canada

WG 3a 

Developing a national mathematics teaching community 

WG 3c 

Supporting Teacher Success 

[Report] 
WG 1a: 
Mathematics education in the aboriginal community 
Report 

Working Group Leaders
 Kanwal Neel, Simon Fraser University and Richmond School District, British Colombia 
 Louise Poirier, Université de Montréal, Quebec 
Description
One
of the recommendations found in the Minister of the Department of
Indian Affairs and Northern Development’s National Working
Group on Education’s final report is that “postsecondary
institutions and teacher education programs adopt multiple strategies
to increase substantially the number of Aboriginal secondary school
teachers…” (p. 43). The report also identifies the
importance of developing culturally relevant curricula, pedagogy and
resources that would address the identified weaknesses in mathematics
and science. In what way or ways might the mathematics education
community in Canada contribute to the development of these curricula,
pedagogy, and resources?
Objectives
In
this working group the following questions will form a framework for
our discussion as to the way(s) in which the mathematics education
community in Canada can respond to the identified need within the
Aboriginal community.
 In what ways do
the aboriginal sense of knowing effect the teaching of mathematics
in aboriginal communities?
 Is it possible to
separate the challenges of learning and teaching mathematics in the
aboriginal community from those encountered for other disciplines?
 What type of
education about aboriginal communities should teachers of
mathematics receive?
 What types of
programs might universities offer to help aboriginal students to
make the transition into mathematics and science programs?
 How is
mathematics viewed within the aboriginal community?
 How might the
efforts of this working group be shared after the forum?
WG 1b: 
Early numeracy: Developing Mathematical Literacy in the Early Years 

Working Group Leaders
 Chris Suurtamm, University of Ottawa, Ontario 
 Rita Janes, Education associates, Newfoundland 
Description
Several provinces have
large scale efforts in a direction that they call “early
numeracy;” how is early numeracy defined? Are these efforts
interventions for “students at risk” at an early age or
are the efforts focused on something else? What are the underlying
values to these provincial efforts?
Objectives
In
this working group the following questions will form a framework as
to consider early numeracy in Canada:
 Which provinces do
have “early numeracy” directions? What are these
directions? Is early numeracy only counting?
 What is the
philosophy underlying each of those directions?
 What types of
“guidelines” exist for preschool or early numeracy
programs?
 In what way(s) do
these directions encourage programs to acknowledge the
understandings that children come with and then build on that
understanding?
 What types of
initiatives can encourage the development of early numeracy through
home connections?
Working Group Leaders
 Elaine Simmt, University of Alberta, Alberta 
 Peter Taylor, Queen's University, Ontario 
Description
In the
conversations leading to the 2005 Forum, the question of the
relevance of mathematics for our students often came out as an issue.
This working group considers this question in the following way: what
is relevant for the general citizen living in our society?
There are
different answers to this question, but it is often hard to make the
link between these answers and what is done in our classrooms.
Teachers say they need more than just reasons why mathematics is
important; they need examples that can be worked on in classes.
Objectives
 Identify
some good examples which illustrate both the relevance and the
feasibility in a classroom setting.
 Address
some of the less conventional connections with respect to relevance,
namely in other human creative endeavours like visual arts, dance
and music.
 Document
resources which address this question.
 In
what ways do these examples fit in the school mathematics program?
How would things have to change so they did?
WG 1d: 
Supporting Student Success – Helping students reach their potential 
Report 

Working Group Leaders
 Stewart Craven, Toronto District School Board, Ontario 
 Anna Spanik, West Halifax High School, Nova Scotia, and NCTM representative for the Nova Scotia Mathematics Teacher Association 
Description
Virtually all
jurisdictions across Canada are showing great concern for students
who are “at risk” or in other words, are struggling to
learn Mathematics. This concern is appropriate because the students
that graduate from our schools must be able to cope in a highly
technological and informationbased world whether they pursue studies
in higher education or enter the workforce Even if students are doing
well they may not reach their potential in terms of mathematical
understanding and may not be able to fully contribute to society. The
definition of “at risk” Mathematics students should be
broad enough to include those students who are in jeopardy of
receiving their high school diploma because they cannot meet the
Mathematics course requirements and those students who may be
“passing” but are not learning the Mathematics they are
capable of learning.
Objectives
This working group
should address the following guiding questions:
 How can we truly
engage students in Mathematics throughout their schooling years?
 For those students
who are struggling, how can we address their needs so that they can
reach their potential?
 What initiatives are
governments and boards of education from across Canada taking to meet
the needs of struggling learners in Mathematics?
 Should society
(governments, boards of education) provide large amounts of resources
so that all high school graduates meet an acceptable "numeracy"
standard?
WG 2a: 
Creating a curriculum that affords learners opportunity to develop powerful mathematics 
Report 

Working Group Leaders
 Sophie René de Cotret, Université de Montréal, Quebec 
 Richard de Merchant, Alberta Education, Alberta 
 Shirley Dalrymple, York Region District School Board, Ontario 
Description
As
evidenced by recent “backtobasics” and
“teachingforunderstanding” movements, much of the
debate about grade school mathematics curricula is organized around
the assumption that there is a tension between technical proficiency
and conceptual understanding. Is this tension a necessary one? Or is
it possible to create a curriculum in which proficiency and
understanding are framed in terms of complementary—indeed,
codependent—relationship? What sorts of resources and
preparations would be needed to ensure the successful introduction of
such a curriculum?
We
will explore these sorts of questions in this working group.
Discussions will be informed by brief presentations of the origins of
the proficiency/understanding debate and recent research into the
interdependencies of technical competency and conceptual competence.
Working Group Leaders
 Tom Steinke, OttawaCarleton Catholic School Board, Ontario 
 France Caron, Université de Montréal, Quebec 
Description
This working group will
bring together mathematics education researchers and mathematics
educators from across Canada to explore how research, practice,
hardware and software can combine to ensure that learning mathematics
does in fact take place in the presence of technology.
 What might a technologyrich curriculum look like?
 Articulate the skills and concepts that can be enhanced through the use
of the different technologies
(e.g., critical thinking).
 Explore
the issue of equity in access to and use of technologies to learn mathematics.
 Explore
effective teacher professional learning models to support the
effective use of technology for new
and existing teachers of mathematics.
 Explore
what role technologies might play in elementary mathematics
education.
Working Group Leaders
 Ann Anderson, University of British Columbia, British Columbia 
 Susan Pitre, Toronto District School Board, Ontario 
Description
The working group will
analyse examples of practices which take Mathematics through the
eyes of a child into consideration in a constructive way. The
children referred to are meant to be in grades K8. This analysis
will touch upon the following questions.
 How do teachers (and
possibly families, societies or communities) adjust their point of
view so that they better understand their children's view of the
world?
 If there is a
specific context in a given example, then what makes it an
interesting context for children? When and how is the transition made
from the context to the introduction of the mathematical concepts?
Must some of these concepts be taught before discussing the specific
context?
Objectives
 Increase our
understanding of the characteristics of activities taking
Mathematics through the eyes of a child into consideration in
a constructive way, their advantages as well as the obstacles to
undertaking such activities.
 Come up with some
specific recommendations to be shared with the wider mathematics
teaching and education community.
WG 2d: 
Classroom practice and mathematics education research 
Report 

Working Group Leaders
 Shannon Sookochoff, Jasper Place High School, Edmonton, Alberta 
 Margaret Sinclair, York University, Ontario 
Description
The
relationship between educational research and educational practice
has often been described in terms of separate worlds. The working
group is concerned with models and means to bring practice and
research into more complementary relationship. The group will
consider issues around collaborative projects, teacherresearch,
communications between groups, and the development of resources.
Objectives
 Provide a space where teachers and researchers can discuss this issue
together.
 Analyse projects of research and teaching, with a view toward
articulating a complementary relationship.
 Discuss
projects and models in which research clearly informs practice and
practice informs research.

Develop some recommendations, including means to address the tendency
to conceive of teacherresearch relationships in terms of hierarchies
and gaps.
WG 3a: 
Developing a national mathematics teaching community 

Working Group Leaders
 Marc Garneau, Surrey School District, and President of BCAMT (BritishColumbia Association of Mathematics Teachers), British Columbia 
 André Ladouceur, Collège Catholique SamuelGenest, Ottawa, Ontario 
 Liliane Gauthier, Saskatchewan Learning, Saskatchewan 
Description
This
working group will address the question: in what ways might we
develop and sustain a national mathematics teaching community? The
interest in developing a national mathematics teaching community
developed following the 2003 Forum. Since that time, two meetings
have occurred with representatives from different provincial
mathematics teachers organizations to discuss the possibility of
organizing a national organization for mathematics teachers. The
deliberations at these meetings saw value in the development of such
an organization, and the Canadian Association for the Teaching of
Mathematics (CATM)/Association canadienne pour l’enseignement
des mathématques (ACEM) is in the process of being been formed.
Objectives
The
focus of this working group will be to identify projects and
initiatives that will establish sustainability of the ACEM/CATM.
Working Group Leaders
 Eric Muller, Brock University, Ontario 
 Brent Davis, University of Alberta, Alberta 
 Lisa Lunney, We'koqma'q Secondary School, Nova Scotia 
Description
This working group will
address the question: how do we support teacher success?
The aim will be to identify what support the mathematics education
community, at the elementary and secondary levels, needs, and to
consider those issues that can be addressed at a national level. It
is anticipated that members of the working group will represent two
constituencies, namely, individuals who are well placed to know the
support which is desired that is, teachers, mathematics consultants,
mathematics education representatives from ministries of education,
etc., and individuals who can assist in the delivery of that support.
It is hoped that
participants will provide good examples of mathematics teacher
support, both at the elementary and secondary level, which can be
shared and considered for generalization to other parts of Canada.
Such examples could include individual mathematics courses for
teachers being offered across the country, and other inservice,
preservice and professional development activities, discussing how
they can be designed to support teachers' success. In
particular, the working group will be interested in the mathematical
knowledge useful for teaching.
Objectives
There are two specific
objectives for this working group:
 to engage in a
national conversation about these issues,
 to recommend a few
concrete actions to support teacher success at a national level