Park City Mathematics Institute 2001
2001 PCMI Working Group
Math Made Meaningful
A few things about the tasks at hand are described in the Guidelines for Working Groups.
  • Each day, each working group will need to submit a journal page to be placed on an accessible web site. Initially, Art Mabbott will facilitate the process for the program as is needed. We need to design the specific process we'll use in our work group.
    I propose voluteer(s) act as daily recorders, noting important process items, anecdotal highlights, items/questions for further research, etc., on posted chart paper. These notes will be the basis for a recorded web journal entry, which is written out more completely (perhaps first as a word document that gets ultimately transcribed to html).
    Who is willing to help with this?

  • To get teacher input about the on-going development of the program, especially how best to use the flexible times in our schedule, we will have a program committee that meets under the guidance of Carol Hattan. Each working group is to pick a representative for this committee, which will meet for the first time during Lunch tomorrow, Tuesday.
    Who would be willing to perform this group function?

  • The working group is designed as a setting for a valuable collegial experience of active engagement and professional growth for all its members. We do not envision the working group as a "course" taught by an instructor, but more as a seminar, in which the members organize themselves to accomplish a goal. This may require the group to subdivide tasks according to the members' interests and backgrounds.

  • Overall, we have the task of producing some product. This does not necessarily mean producing lesson plans or worksheets. Hopefully, something will be produced that is deeper in mathematical or pedagogical content. This product could amplify existing content material, or be a video paper that we create, or describe some transferable, useful process, or ... ?
    The hardest part of this may be coming to grips with the open-endedness of the task. While we should be mindful that our work should lead to something useful, I caution us not to jump too quickly to define the product. Instead, let's engage the process enough to allow the product to define itself in a natural way.
    How will we know when we're there? ... that we've got it?


STARTING POINTS:
  • Liping Ma, Knowing and Teaching Elementary Matematics - Teachers' Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in China and the United States;
    Exploring New Knowledge: The Relationship Between Perimeter and Area
  • Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner, Teaching as a Subversive Activity;
    What's Worth Learning?, Meaning Making
  • John Paulos, A Mathematician Reads The Newspaper;
    Introduction, Conclusion, [Examples]

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IAS/Park City Mathematics Institute is an outreach program of the School of Mathematics
at the Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540

Send questions or comments to: Suzanne Alejandre and Jim King

With program support provided by Math for America

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0314808.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.