The purpose of this conference is to expose educators and the public to a range of views on math education, from leading experts in education, cognitive science and
Aboriginal education, and to explore ways of bringing the best insights together into practice. Views on how best to proceed sometimes diverge, yet all are founded in a shared desire to give all students an opportunity to engage in, appreciate and achieve high levels of proficiency in mathematics.
The human brain has extraordinary capacity for learning and growth. However, to maximize growth, we must be cognizant of both the brain's extraordinary capabilities and its limitations. The conference will explore ways in which educators can balance the different requirements of the brain; for example, by allowing students to explore and discover mathematical concepts, while providing enough practice and guidance to ensure that all students meet their full potential.
Unfortunately, math class can be a source of stress for some students.
If we are to alleviate the stress felt by students and elevate their enjoyment and achievement in math, we must also consider what it will take to alleviate the stress that teaching math can cause for many teachers, few of whom are math specialists. Therefore, we will also discuss what teachers require in terms of training, materials and ongoing support to enable them to find their own pleasure and engagement in teaching math.
Finally, engagement alone is not enough since students
need to become proficient in core mathematical skills and concepts and develop the ability to apply them creatively and with confidence in diverse situations. At this conference, we will also discuss both the roots of proficiency and the ability to apply math to solve both routine and novel problems.
This conference will be of interest to teachers, school administrators,
consultants, policy-makers, educators, parent groups and researchers.