Discussion group 22:
Current problems and challenges in upper secondary mathematics education
Room F103 and F104

Call for papers

We welcome proposals dealing with any aspect of Upper Secondary mathematics teaching or learning, but we will give priority to proposals more specifically addressing the questions as they are stated below.

If you wish to present a paper, please send a two page abstract. It is important to submit your text by email as Microsoft Word and PDF attachments, before December the 1st of 2007, to Neil Eddy (neddy@bishops.org.za) and Denis Tanguay (tanguay.denis@uqam.ca).
Authors with accepted submissions will be asked for an extended version of their contribution (maximum 6 pages) before January 31, with final papers (6 pages) due by 31 March. The full paper will be submitted as a file in both Microsoft Word (using Times New Roman 12-point font size and single-spacing) and PDF format. They should include title, author(s), institution, postal address, fax, telephone numbers and email address at the beginning of the abstract. All papers will be peer-reviewed.

Note: The definition of “upper secondary” varies from country to country.

* Monterrey, Mexico (slightly different from the remainder of Mexico): Grades 10 and 11 (15 to 17 years of age).

* Québec, Canada (unique from the remainder of Canada): Cegeps (Collège d’enseignement général et professionnels) provide 2 years of general programs leading to university or 3 years technical programs (17 to 20 years of age).

* South Africa: FET (further education and training) phase incorporates grades 10 to 12 (16 to 18 years of age).

* United States: Grades 11 and 12 (16 to 18 years of age).

Beyond the specific problems pertaining to the teaching and learning of
topics and concepts which are central to upper secondary mathematics —
exp, log and trigonometric functions, limits, derivatives, matrices, etc.
— some general issues build up to real challenges at that level, owing to
transitional difficulties:

  • • Are the students prepared to cope with the increasing level of
    formalism in upper secondary maths courses, including resorting to
    symbolism, set theory, logic and proof? How should the pedagogical and
    didactical approaches evolve from lower to upper secondary, to smooth over
    the transition?
  • • What constitutes a mathematically rich activity at this level?
  • • What are the implications of large-size classes or of large-scale
  • • Should secondary mathematics education programs distinguish between
    preparing for a vocation versus preparing for post-secondary education?
    Should the mathematics taught be the same, or be taught in the same way?
    What is to be done so that reasoning and deeper understanding are not
    neglected, in favour of procedural and utilitarian learning?
  • • What is (or should be) the role of technology in teaching and
    learning upper secondary mathematics?
  • Denis Tanguay (Canada)
  • Neil Eddy (South Africa)
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Team members:
  • Thomas Jahnke (Germany)
  • Gwen Zimmermann (USA)
  • Luis Ricardo Garza (Mexico)
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Accepted Papers

“What Challenges We Are Confronted with in High School Mathematics?”

Author: Wang Linquan

Professor of Mathematics Education, School of Mathematics Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, P.R.China, wanglq@scnu.edu.cn

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