Discussion group 21:
Current problems and challenges in lower secondary mathematics education
Room F105 and F016

What are the most important current problems and challenges pertaining to the teaching and learning of mathematics at the lower secondary level (that is, for 12± to 15± year olds)? What issues impact the mathematics learning experiences of students? What mathematics is seen to be critical or essential at this level of schooling? What is the role of language, technology, and culture in the provision of and access to quality mathematics instruction? What dilemmas confront teachers of mathematics at this level? What are the implications for pre-service education, professional development, school organisation, and curriculum resources? How should these problems, challenges, issues and dilemmas be addressed? What has worked, where, and why?

  • Di Siemon (Australia)
    dianne.siemon@rmit.edu.au
  • Brigitte Grugeon (France)
    grugeon@club-internet.fr & brigitte.grugeon@amiens.iufm.fr
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Team members:
  • José Guzmán Hernández (Mexico)
    jguzman@cinvestav.mx
  • Rakhi Banerjee (India)
    rakhi.banerjee@gmail.com
  • Shuk-kwan S(usan) Leung (Taiwan)
    law@mail.nsysu.edu.tw
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Goals

DG21 has tow primary goals: (a) to facilitate a lively, informed, and constructive discussion about the most pressing issues, challenges and problems associated with the teaching and learning of mathematics at the lower secondary level, and (b) to provide a forum for participants to share what has worked well in addressing some of these issues and problems. For the purposes of this DG, the lower secondary level refers to students from ±12 years to ±15 years.

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Call for Contributions

As Discussion Groups are expressly not about the presentation of papers, the Organising Team is calling for CONTRIBUTIONS (see points a) to g) below) which specifically address one or more of the following key questions.

1. What are the most important current problems and challenges pertaining to the teaching and learning of mathematics at the lower secondary level (that is, for 12± to 15± year olds)?

2. What issues impact the mathematics learning experiences of students?

3. What mathematics is seen to be critical or essential at this level of schooling?

4. What is the role of language, technology, and culture in the provision of and access to quality mathematics instruction?

5. What dilemmas confront teachers of mathematics at this level?

6. What are the implications for pre-service education, professional development, school organisation, and/or curriculum resources?

7. How should these problems, challenges, issues and dilemmas be addressed? What has worked well, where, and why?

Contributions should:

a) indicate the author(s) names and location(town and country, school or establishment) and contact details;

b) clearly address one or more of the DG21 questions included above (contributors are encouraged to suggest specific sub-questions for discussion);

c) specify the age range of students concerned or, if referring to teachers, the ages of the students taught and, where relevant, the particular area of mathematics;

d) briefly describe the context and setting of the particular issue, problem, or challenge (contributors should not assume readers will be familiar with the structure and context of schooling and/or the provision of mathematics education in the country concerned;

e) describe and/or discuss the particular issue, problem, challenge from a practical and/or theoretical perspective (include specific examples and/or sample evidence to help illustrate and/or quantify the particular issues/experiences involved where relevant);

f) be between 1000 and 1200 words (12 point, single spaced) excluding references (only include if widely accessible to an international audience, e.g., web based report or relevant material);

g) be submitted by email to the Co-Chairs of DG21, grugeon@club-internet.fr and dianne.siemon@rmit.edu.au, no later than January 20, 2008.

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Timeline

By the end of February 2008 – Information about acceptance will be sent to contributors who will be asked to prepare an extended version of their text (6 pages maximum) by the end of March 2008.

By 20th April 2008 – The OT will prepare and publish an organising framework for the operation of the DG based on the extended contributions received. At this stage it is envisaged that we will spend the first 2 sessions in small groups after a brief introduction to the key issues by members of the OT. For the final session (1 hour only) the OT is considering the possibility of a more formal report back session to share general observations and possibly produce a short communiqué.

At some point in this process, the OT will also seek input from a small number of highly regarded ‘specialists’ in this field. The object of this is to help ground the discussion in an assessment/evaluation of current research, theory, and practice. It is envisaged that these people will be asked to provide a summative and/or evaluative account of relevant research and/or activity in their particular area of expertise for inclusion on the DG website.

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Organisation
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