SMS scnews item created by Leon Poladian at Mon 16 Aug 2010 1036
Type: Seminar
Distribution: World
Expiry: 2 Sep 2010
Calendar1: 2 Sep 2010 1600-1830
CalLoc1: New Law 104
CalTitle1: IISME Seminar
Auth: leonp(.amstaff;2428.1001)

IISME Seminar: Ramaage, Way and Bobis -- Dealing with the crisis in mathematics by starting at the beginning

The Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education announces a special

"Dealing with the crisis in mathematics by starting at the beginning".  

Thursday September 2nd 4.00-6.30pm 

The recent Review of Education in Mathematics, Data Science and Quantitative Disciplines
(commissioned by the Group of Eight Universities and available at
confirms that mathematics in Australia is in crisis, with long-term trends of fewer
students studying mathematics in high schools and universities, not enough qualified
mathematics teachers and the development of negative attitudes towards mathematics by
students.  Interest, attitude and basic skills in mathematics are formed at the primary
school level and it is here that much good work can be done.  The seminar will focus on
the benefits that could flow from improvements in the mathematics education of
preservice primary teachers.  

Professor Jacqui Ramagge (Head, School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics at the
University of Wollongong) will speak about her highly commended work in the development
of undergraduate mathematical-content subjects for preservice primary teachers.  

Dr Jennifer Way and Associate Professor Janette Bobis of the Faculty of Education at the
University of Sydney will report on a new unit of study designed to increase preservice
primary teachers’ mathematical content knowledge while promoting positive attitudes
towards the development of their own numeracy.  

 Details: Thursday September 2, 2010, from 4:00pm - 6:30pm.  

New Law Annexe Lecture Theatre 104, University of Sydney (main campus), 

Please RSVP online by Thursday 26th August, for catering purposes.  



Professor Jacqui Ramagge is Head of the School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics at
the University of Wollongong and a member of the Engineering, Mathematics and
Informatics panel of the ARC College of Experts.  She has been teaching primary teachers
at the preservice and inservice level for over ten years in both Australia and the USA.
Last year she led a team at the University of Wollongong in the development of two
undergraduate mathematical-content subjects specifically designed for preservice primary
teachers.  All of the material associated to the subjects is released under a creative
commons license and freely available for other institutions to implement.  

 Abstract for Jacqui Ramagge presentation: 

 Demand for mathematics and statistics graduates in industry has been growing at a time
when the number of students choosing to study mathematics and statistics has been
decreasing.  As a result, fewer students are choosing to teach mathematics and
increasingly children are lucky if one teacher in their school-years is sufficiently
confident with their mathematical knowledge to inspire passion in the subject.  As
mathematicians, educators and academics, it is our responsibility to do everything we
can to ensure that future generations have the best possible chance of enjoying the
beauty of mathematics and the benefits of high levels of mathematical competency.
Personally, I contribute to this effort on a number of different fronts.  Recently, my
work in the mathematical training of prospective primary teachers has received
attention.  In this talk I will give an overview of the two undergraduate subjects for
primary educators that I have developed at the University of Wollongong.  

 I will explain why they are the most challenging subjects I have ever taught and
possibly the most challenging subjects the students have ever taken.  I will also
explain how they help to equip teachers to function as professionals and to inspire
children with a love of mathematics.  

Abstract for Jenni Way/Janette Bobis presentation: 

In 2011 the Bachelor of Education (Primary) program at the University of Sydney will
introduce a new mandatory unit of study designed to increase our students’ mathematical
content knowledge while promoting positive attitudes towards the development of their
own Numeracy.  The new unit will precede three mathematics education units that focus on
pedagogical content knowledge (with emphasis on the development of children’s
mathematical thinking) and on curriculum knowledge.  This presentation will outline the
underlying principles for the design of the new unit, with the purpose of stimulating
discussion about the merits of such approaches to addressing the call for increased
quality of mathematical knowledge in teachers.  Views on the potential that the
situation holds for conducting valuable research will also be sought from the seminar

HAZEL JONES Manager UniServe Science and Institute for Innovation in Science and
Mathematics Education

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