Thanks, Pat, Very nicely written.
I would ask what areas of mathematics the participants involved in this dialogue are associated with as my years of experience with mathematicians, scientists, computer scientists and engineers from a wide range of Universities around the world convinces me that we too often only hear from one side in this debate about what math professors see, hear and want from students. I have a colleague who every Fall would call me and complain that despite the A’s on their transcripts the students he is getting in for his PhD program cannot think, problem solve or create… what is wrong with the math programs they are in….? So where does he fit at this roundtable discussion?
I’ve been blogging about my experience at the Alberta Mathematics Dialogue last week, in which a group of university mathematics professors offered a critique of the K-12 math program in Alberta. My colleague, Pat, attended as well. Pat has more than 30 years experience as a teacher and consultant in Alberta. She has a BSc (math major), BEd and MEd. As a high school teacher, I can’t pretend to know a whole lot about how young children learn mathematics. Pat, however, is truly an expert in this area. I asked her if she would be willing to share a few words here, and she agreed. What follows are her words.
I’ve been an elementary teacher since 1979. It’s a designation I’ve always been proud of, even though it seems the complexity of the work is poorly understood and not always respected. For most of the past 4 years I’ve been…
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