Australian Educators Lead PSU Summer Math Institute

July 22nd, 2004 by Adam

Plymouth State University hosted 33 math teachers who were on campus attending the summer 2004 math institute Teaching Math to Primary Teachers. Doug Clarke from Australian Catholic University and Barbara Clarke from Monash University, both in Melbourne, Australia, described to participants their three-year research project on how young children learn mathematics.

Institute Director and PSU Professor of Mathematics Richard Evans explains, “Doug and Barbara shared materials and ideas about how to interview young children in order to better meet their needs in learning mathematics, and strategies on how to help them learn key ideas in the areas of counting, place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, time, length, mass, shape and spatial visualization.”

Two other summer institutes were led by Charles Lovitt, former director of mathematics for the Curriculum Corporation of Australia. Twenty-seven teachers attended The Science and Art of Pedagogy in Mathematics Teaching, which examined five teaching strategies that are often under valued and under used. They are the power of estimation, mathematical modeling, visual learning, story shell frameworks, and contextual settings for mathematics learning.

Building Balanced Lessons Using Maths300 focused on use of the Maths300 Web site hosted by the Curriculum Corporation of Australia. “School districts from the U.S. can and have joined the Maths300 Project,” says Evans. “It houses over 150 excellent lessons which focus on investigative problems which require students to ‘work mathematically’.” The Project also has software available for members to download and use in the investigations done by students, as well as detailed lesson plans for teachers.