Math Overview

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“You can make teachers smarter and more knowledgeable but it is very, very hard to penetrate the classroom wall in professional development and yet that is what we must do. If we cannot improve the quality of teaching and learning in classrooms then everything else we do is not going to get anywhere.” – James Stigler, March 16, 2004

“Instead of making kids love the math they hate, make the math they would love!” – Seymour Papert, AERA 2004

Mathematics Educators from The Galileo Educational Network have partnered with Mount Royal College, Mathematics, Physics and Engineering Department , University of Calgary Math Facultyand the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences to actively explore ways to offer a number of professional learning opportunities for K-12 math teachers.

Through this partnership two programs have evolved:

Math Fairs 

A Math Fair is a non-competitive problem solving event that gives teachers an opportunity to have their students do problem solving with a particular goal in mind. The math fair can be adapted to almost any curriculum and set of standards, and it will motivate and inspire all of the students. We have been adding additional ‘good problems‘ for teachers and students to use for Math Fairs and general classroom use.

Lesson Study 

“a professional development process that Japanese teachers engage in to systematically examine their practice, with the goal of becoming more effective. This examination centers on teachers working collaboratively on a small number of “study lessons”. Working on these study lessons involves planning, teaching, observing, and critiquing the lessons. To provide focus and direction to this work, the teachers select an overarching goal and related research question that they want to explore. This research question then serves to guide their work on all the study lessons.”(1)

Lesson Study designed both to capitalize on TIMSS 1995, 1999, 2003 findings and to investigate teaching and learning issues that have been identified as locally significant. Teachers in our Lesson Study initiative meet once a month during the school year in order to learn mathematics better and to learn better mathematics

The goals of our math initiatives are to:

  • engage students in worthy, robust mathematical problems and puzzles
  • increase teachers’ mathematical knowledge, understanding and literacy
  • develop a teaching script that is more conducive to learning: developing mathematical literacy, numeracy, mathematical reasoning and mathematical coherence in their students
  • create a collaborative network of math teachers, mathematicians and math educators to improve mathematics learning
  • create a resource of robust mathematical problems
  • collaboratively study teachers teaching to uncover the mathematics and pedagogy needed for the work of improving mathematics teaching

Galileo Educational Network also serves on the editorial board of Pi In The Sky, a publication of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.

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