COMPUTATIONAL THINKING IN MATHEMATICS EDUCATION
The integration of computational thinking (CT) in mathematics teaching and learning can support the goal of Ontario’s Renewed Math Strategy of helping “students build a solid conceptual foundation in math” through dynamic modelling, by making abstract concepts “tangible” code objects, and by offering opportunities for students to develop robust understanding of mathematics concepts through hands-on investigations. CT also helps “provide students with a framework and tools for reasoning, justifying conclusions, and expressing ideas clearly” and “develop mathematical understanding, problem-solving skills, and related technological skills that they can apply in their daily lives, and eventually, in the workplace.” CT in its various forms – such as screen-based coding, unplugged procedures, and digital tangibles – is growing as a pedagogical interest within and outside of Ontario schools and there are pressures to include CT in curriculum. In January 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “We need to do a lot better job of getting young people to understand what coding is and how it’s important, how to program, how to problem solve, how to create the most elegant algorithm possible.” In the same month, B.C. announced that computer coding will be added to all grades of the K-12 curriculum. A similar announcement has been made by Nova Scotia. In Ontario, many schools are already providing CT experiences for students. How exactly should CT fit into the curriculum? This CoP will design and mobilize evidence-based and practice-based knowledge, integrating CT to support mathematics instruction. Some integration of CT in mathematics education (rather than simply teaching CT as a separate experience) will help address the issue of a crowded curriculum, and assist schools in meeting the RMS’s goal of a “minimum of 60 minutes each day of protected learning time for effective math instruction and assessment will be required for students in Grades 1 to 8”.
Chantal Buteau (Brock University), Bev Casswell (Robertson Group, OISE/UT), George Gadanidis (Western University), Bryan McMillan (Wellington CDSB)
Chantal Buteau (Brock University), Bev Caswell (Robertson Group, OISE/UT), Serge Demers (Laurentian University), Brigitte Goure (Providence), George Gadanidis (Western University), Marie-Hélène D’Amour (Providence); Bryan McMillan (Wellington CDSB), Judy Mendaglio (OAME), Matthew Oldridge (PDSB), Belinda Russo (OECTA), Joe Russo (TCDSB), Ralph Shaw (Trent University), Bronna Silver (TDSB)
Bryan McMillan & George Gadanidis are working in Wellington CDSB
- CT in elementary mathematics, 1 teacher per school, 22 schools
- knowledge to be shared with other teachers in the schools; and beyond the school district
- Grade 10 Math + Computer Science integration (cohorts) – 3 high schools
- Bryan McMillan will look into funds available to support a meeting on this theme with representatives from NCDSB and Providence
Bev Caswell, George Gadanidis & Bronna Silver are working in the primary division of 1 school in TDSB
- knowledge to be shared with other teachers in the school; to other schools in the district; and beyond the school district
- CT at the HS level
- project-based learning (students designing/coding math games)
Marie-Hélène D’Amour & Brigitte Goure are working in Providence
- district focus on technology (coding, making etc)
- shifting to mathematics + coding
- 18 schools, 2 teachers per school + 1 math lead teacher per school = approximately 54 teachers and 32 classrooms
- math development and technology integration (coding) through classroom support – co-teaching and co-planning
- technology leads will receive direct support from Marie-Hélène D’Amour and Brigitte Goure
- math leads will receive direct support from Marie-Hélène D’Amour and Brigitte Goure
Bev Caswell is working in Rainy River DSB, Seven Generations Education Institute, and Johnny Thierriault School in Aroland First Nation
- CT is one of the foci of this work
Joe Russo (21st Century Learning, TCDSB), is working on Mathematics, Coding and 21st Century Knowledge Construction.
OUTCOMES & ACTIVITIES
- Classroom documentary on Symmetry + Code @ TVO’s teachontario.ca
- Bring representatives together from above groups to exchange ideas
- AFEMO & OAME publications and events – we can plan to have a “CT” day at OAME next year to showcase our work (as is happening this year with FNMI focus on Thursday, May 11th at OAME)
- L’AFEMO publishes it’s magazine 3 times a year. We hold virtual conferences twice a year. These are recorded and added to our web site. Our next conference will be in October of 2018. This would be a great opportunity to showcase the work done in 2017-2018.
- In the primary school site (with George, Bronna and Bev), let’s make sure that the French teacher joins our math sessions. I can also look into inviting the French teacher from Jackman ICS to join us. L’AFEMO can also help.
- Computational Thinking in Mathematics Education. Researching the use of computational thinking in mathematics education, from pre-school to undergraduate mathematics, and in mathematics teacher education.
- Math + Code ‘Zine. We love math. We love coding. And we love the power of the two combined!
- ScratchMaths (UK). supporting computational and mathematical thinking through programming (Education Endowment Fund)
- Computational Thinking in Mathematics Module (Western University)
- La pensée algorithmique (Académie royale de Belgique)