Eric.ed.gov – A Companion to the Film, “Putting Mathematics Education in Its Place”. Working Paper No. 41

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A challenge for contemporary rural educators (especially teachers) is how to imagine rural education in a way that is not entirely focused on defining the rural as a problems space or as something simultaneously left behind by history and outmigration. Problems of community economic development come into the picture when we attempt to imagine rural schools that support and contribute to their communities rather than mostly serving as way-stations for outward bound youth. These are the kinds of questions raised by the ACCLAIM project, organized by the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Ohio University, West Virginia University, the University of Louisville, and the University of Kentucky. ACCLAIM is doing ground-breaking work in the United States simply by asking a number of key questions about the relationship between math education and rurality that concern what difference place might make in math education. Because this is a relatively new area and one which has not been researched in the Canadian context the author decided to take up an invitation from Craig Howley of ACCLAIM by raising a series of questions with math educators in rural Nova Scotia addressing five key questions (the final three of which are central to the ACCLAIM mission): (1) What difference does place make in mathematics and what difference does it make in mathematics education?; (2) Mathematics has been presented as a decontextualized, metalanguage that sits outside politics, culture and place. It is also constructed as a representation of pure intelligence because it is not linguistically anchored. Finally, because it is lifted out of context, math is often used as a sorting and selection mechanism both in school and for occupational and academic placements outside school. What has been the impact on this way of seeing and using mathematics on contextualized teaching; (3) What kinds of mathematical knowledge sustains place?; (4) What sorts of mathematical knowledge accommodates place well?; and (5) What kinds of mathematical preparation suits a rural world of greater scarcity? In the film “Putting Mathematics in its place: In conversation with David Reid and Christine Knipping,” developed for ACCLAIM, they take up the questions above. The author takes up a baker’s dozen of issues that seem to him to arise from the conversation. (Contains 1 footnote.)

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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