Abstract: Abstract Current conceptions of STEM focus on the Western views of distinct academic disciplines—sciences, technologies, engineering, and mathematics. There are national and international initiatives aimed at increasing workforce and postsecondary participation in STEM-related fields, including individuals in under-represented groups. While the emphases of these initiatives are clear, further consideration regarding the meaning and purpose of STEM is necessary. From our indigenous and ecological perspectives, limited questioning around STEM not only marginalizes other cultural forms of knowing—especially those which are connected to the environment—but also denies the potential for other cultural forms of knowing to contribute to the development and advancement of STEM. We are particularly interested in how STEM might be re-imagined within indigenous and ecological perspectives; what alternative meanings of STEM are enabled; and in light of these, what other purposes are possible for STEM' In this paper, we consider other cultural forms of knowing, specifically those forms of knowing deeply connected to the environment, to explore how such practices enable a re-imagining of STEM. Focusing on living landscapes, topography, architecture, and algo-rhythms, we engage the reader to play with these ideas, question taken for granted meanings of STEM, and re-imagine STEM within ecological and indigenous perspectives. PubDate: 2020-06-23

Abstract: Abstract Improving student participation and achievement in post-secondary STEM courses continues to be an important concern of many governments and educational institutions since this is one avenue by which the number of STEM professionals can be increased. This paper examines and compares the gendered participation, performance and attrition rate of candidates in two post-secondary mathematics courses over a 5-year period from 2013 to 2017. This study used the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) results from the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), which is the main public examination board in the Caribbean, for 15,220 candidates (N = 19,585) from 71 post-secondary educational institutions in Jamaica. ‘CAPE’ applies to both the course of study and the associated examination. The study found that, on average, approximately one-fifth of the candidates who pursue CAPE courses in Jamaica opt to study a mathematics course and that across the 5 years this remained relatively stable. There was, however, a marked decrease in the number of candidates choosing to enrol in Unit 2 courses on completion of the related Unit 1 course. Another key finding was that, while a higher percentage of males chose to undertake Applied Mathematics Unit 2 and equal proportions of male and female candidates the other three courses, there was a significant difference in the overall performance by gender with females outperforming their male peers. These findings suggest that initiatives are needed which improve student performance and experience in CAPE mathematics Unit 1 subjects which could then reduce student attrition across units. PubDate: 2020-06-13

Abstract: Abstract Over the past two decades, the perennial low success rates of elementary students in mathematical problem solving and the difficulties experienced by teachers in meeting the various needs of their students with this type of task have become quite a hot topic. While there is a general consensus among education scholars about the crucial role played by cognitive, emotional and motivational self-regulatory processes in mathematical problem-solving learning and performance, so far, no study has looked simultaneously and finely at these three dimensions in specific profiles of students. That issue is the focus of this contribution. To gain fine-grained and complete understandings of the behaviours of “above average” and “below average” problem solvers, both research from educational psychology on emotion and motivation and the work done in mathematics education on the cognitive and metacognitive characteristics of these two learner profiles were called upon. This qualitative study conducted among 22 upper elementary students is based on a cross-analysis of their verbal and written output. The data revealed that inappropriate reading of the problem by “below average” learners masks a difficulty with taking all the relational calculations involved in the problem into account and a strong conception of the uselessness of the problem’s context. These behaviours do not improve during the solution process due to the absence of control and regulation strategies. Findings regarding “above-average” achievers make it possible to identify the most important cognitive, emotional, motivational and regulatory processes that go along with problem-solving expertise. Implications in terms of educational practices are also discussed. PubDate: 2020-06-11

Abstract: Abstract Considering the number of students who participate in them each year, science fairs are an under-researched area of science education. As part of a broader research agenda examining and conceptualizing science fairs, in this study we interviewed parents who had children who had participated in science fairs and were now in university. Parents discussed their role in working with their children, what understandings of science were held and were developed through these activities, and how they perceived the overall science fair experience that their child (or children) had. Using three representative cases, from a phenomenological perspective, we describe assistance ranging from providing some technical support and encouragement to a parent who hired graphic designers to create the poster for the science fair. Implications of these interviews may be useful for schools and science fair organizers/judges. PubDate: 2020-06-03

Abstract: Abstract Acknowledging the contribution of mathematicians to the mathematical education of teachers, we explore mathematicians’ perspective on an envisioned Calculus course for prospective teachers. We analyzed semi-structured interviews with 24 mathematicians using the EDW (Essence-Doing-Worth) framework (Hoffmann & Even, 2018, 2019); and subsequently, we adapted the framework by extending and refining the existing themes. The findings of our study indicate that the mathematicians believe the primary purpose of a Calculus course for teachers is to communicate the nature of mathematics as a discipline. By providing a variety of examples that could shape and expand the teachers’ understanding of mathematics, the majority of the mathematicians participating in the study emphasized the value of mathematical investigation in an envisioned Calculus course for teachers, as well as connections within and beyond the subject. PubDate: 2020-05-28

Abstract: Abstract In this paper, I introduce the ideas of Sylvia Wynter, in particular, her concepts of Man and After Man. I argue that the M in STEM is implicated in this discursive assemblage, which traces a lineage back to the political economy of mathematics that emerged during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and which is related to plantation economics and logics of underdevelopment. I provide a description of this logic and attempt to unsettle the privileged position of human beings in thinking of an ethics for Mathematics Education. I propose that the M in STEM be oriented towards a goal of multispecies’ flourishing and an ethics of kinship, which involves structural coupling and partnering with other species. I illustrate some first steps with student curations of their experience of learning to teach mathematics and with my own photographs and experiments in honouring the challenge of this work. PubDate: 2020-05-18

Abstract: Abstract This study examined prospective secondary mathematics teachers’ professional noticing of students’ reasoning about mean and variability as described in a current statistics curriculum in the USA. Six prospective mathematics teachers were asked to analyse students’ written solutions to statistics problems, constructed at the two levels described in the statistics curriculum. Findings indicated that prospective teachers had difficulties noticing students’ reasoning about variability. None of the prospective teachers explicitly interpreted the student’s limited understanding of variability when comparing data sets with unequal sample sizes. There was a gradation in their noticing skill, ranging from those who showed no evidence of differentiating between students’ different levels of reasoning and made general pedagogical decisions to those who differentiated between students’ developmental levels and decided how to respond based on students’ existing understanding as well as identifying the intrinsic statistical properties in students’ solutions. Implications for research and mathematics teacher education are discussed. PubDate: 2020-05-13

Abstract: Abstract This research examines the impact of a 2-day scientific conference on high school students’ confidence in attending university and interest in postsecondary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. Specifically, this study investigates (1) whether exposure to STEM in grades 10 and 11 significantly increases self-reported confidence in attending university; (2) whether conference participation increases students’ interest in pursuing STEM programs; and (3) whether the impact of the conference on confidence and interest may differ for first-generation students, female students, and grade 10 versus grade 11 students. One hundred and eighty-four high school students in Ontario Canada (28.3% male) completed a self-report survey examining perceptions of the conference, self-confidence in attending university, and interest in STEM. Results demonstrated that students’ confidence in attending university increased after participating in the conference and that the majority of students reported that the conference increased their interest in science and math. No sex or grade differences emerged, although there were trend-level associations regarding confidence levels and interest in STEM for first-generation students relative to their cohort. University-based STEM initiatives may be an effective way to increase high school students’ interest in the sciences and promote student enrolment in postsecondary STEM programs. PubDate: 2020-05-11

Abstract: Abstract We come together, five mathematics teacher educators from varied cultural backgrounds and diverse academic pathways, interested in teacher professional learning, and interested in exploring our understanding of colonial practices in mathematics education specifically and in education more generally. In this paper, we share our stories, drawing upon our own experiences in conversation with each other and in dialogue with academic readings. Our paper studies tensions encountered as we explore decolonizing educational practices within colonial structures, paying close attention to place/land-based pedagogies. In recognizing education as a colonial act, we examine some of the literature in decolonizing education and research before introducing arguments for the role of mathematics education in colonizing educational practices. As a collaborative research group, we met regularly over a period of 3 months, collecting audio recordings of our meetings, transcriptions, shared individual writings, and written responses to each other’s writing and academic readings. We draw on narrative inquiry to structure our experiences of decolonizing mathematics teacher professional learning through living and telling stories and then through re-telling and re-living stories. We argue that this process is rewarding and challenging, and requires individual and collective ongoing dialogue. With our stories, we challenge the places where mathematics is performed, for example from classrooms to learning gardens, and what counts as mathematics. We conclude with questions to frame future directions and dialogues with an invitation to others to respond through critical dialogue and practice. PubDate: 2020-05-09

Abstract: Abstract Mathematics achievement of Canadian elementary students has recently declined on provincial standardized testing. Despite a current emphasis on accountability-driven education, limited research has acknowledged the relation between heterogeneous student need and patterns of student achievement, specifically in regard to students with individual education plans. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to identify latent profiles of elementary student mathematics achievement on Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office test and to determine factors that predict membership to these subpopulations. Latent class modeling revealed two profiles of inclining or declining student mathematics achievement, with individual education plans and testing accommodations significantly predicting membership to a latent profile of declining mathematics achievement, as determined by a binary logistic regression. Findings are discussed relative to their implications for educational practice by questioning the effectiveness of current testing accommodations and advocating for early identification and intervention to support mathematics learning. PubDate: 2020-05-08

Abstract: Abstract In this paper, we reflect on our experiences teaching and working with mathematics teachers in Canada, Ghana, India and Swaziland to explore challenges and opportunities for creating mathematics tasks for peace and sustainability. Our exploration of these experiences is oriented around our interest in embedding peace and sustainability into mathematics education following the Sustainable Development Goals identified by the United Nations. We claim that attention to local contexts affords mathematics educators a medium for engaging in authentic, meaningful and context-driven mathematics tasks that address issues of local environmental, cultural and societal concerns. However, we argue that globalisation has already colonised local communities. The associated “technoscientificity”, along with the conservative nature of textbooks, time constraints and the dominant force of poverty remain hindrances in creating mathematics tasks that are issue centric and socially relevant to address concerns of the local community. We end this paper by suggesting a development of a mathematics task to illustrate the possibility of creating what we call a “situated mathematics task” for students that respond to issues of local community using rural Ghana as a context. PubDate: 2020-03-25

Abstract: Abstract This paper braids together experiences from three Canadian projects committed to creating learning opportunities where Indigenous and Western ways of knowing, being, and doing might circulate together. Show Me Your Math/Connecting Math to Our Lives and Communities (Mi’kmaw territory/Nova Scotia), the First Nations and Métis Mathematics Voices Project (Anishnaabe territory/Ontario), and the READress Project (Kanien’kehá:ka territory/Québec) are each described, and individually and collaboratively explored to identify the ways in which STEM and mathematics emerged (or did not) from community, and contributed back to those communities. While unique in their own ways, each of the projects engaged in collaborative, reflective, cyclical processes of teaching and learning that were deeply rooted in community and ethical relationality. Unresolved tensions are reviewed regarding what is lost when mathematics and STEM more generally are privileged in these contexts, and questions about curriculum reform are presented. PubDate: 2020-03-17

Abstract: Abstract While the culture of many mathematics departments inflects strongly towards STEM, most mathematics departments also offer a significant number of introductory courses intended for both STEM and non-STEM majors. We are a group of mathematicians who, in this work, examine the intent and goals of a university mathematics education for the non-STEM student. We engage in a community of inquiry to discuss how better to address the interests and experiences of our students, and conclude that centring the students’ point of view and decentring the professional mathematician’s point of view is potentially transformative in building resiliency and community. We propose a coordinate system to describe mathematical tasks, with a “contrived-authentic” axis, and a “clean-messy” axis. Finally, we elaborate on the value of the community of inquiry itself in developing our own philosophy and practice of teaching. PubDate: 2020-03-17