Reports reaching me from the regions indicate that we should expect modest increase in mathematics performance for 2016 BECE and WASSCE results. The confidence stems from the various interventions that have been introduced by Ghana Mathematics Society (GMS) and other stakeholders like Mathematical Association of Ghana (MAG) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES). In particular, GMS has organized several camps in mathematics for pre-tertiary students using hands-on activities to make sense of mathematical concepts and relate theory to practice
In addition, the many teachers and students that GMS trained were introduced to what we call conceptual reading, where the students and teachers were taught how to use the reading of mathematics textbooks in the classroom as part of the teaching and learning process. Many have come to tell me it helps them understand mathematics better. It works; try it.
Furthermore the students and teachers were introduced to Meagasa Mathematics Model, which reduces the teaching and learning of mathematics to very simple and all-inclusive dimensions that make mathematics principles and methods meaningful. These dimensions comprise:
- Idea: what ideas, concepts, and topics are you teaching? These must be stated clearly; i.e. fractions, indices, ratio, vectors.
- Shared meaning: what is the shared meaning of the idea within mathematics (or as used by mathematicians? For example what is the shared meaning of fractions as used within mathematics?
- Symbolic representation: how is the idea represented symbolically within mathematics? For example, how do we represent three-quarters symbolically?
- Manipulation: how do we properly manipulate the symbols to preserve the original meaning of the idea under consideration?
- Application: how do we apply the idea in solving problems?
Also, this Model is used as a template for preparing lesson notes in mathematics. It makes the teaching of mathematics very exciting and very effective as all that is needed to become proficient in mathematics is covered.
Counseling has been part of our interventions. Students are counseled on how to study and respond to questions and teachers are counseled on how to deal with large classes, deal with fast and slow learners, and use small group learning strategies to help students brainstorm on the model dimensions. Teachers are also counseled on how to use assessment process to inform and improve classroom teaching.
We continue to engage students on National Mathematics Day every February 14 to participate in outdoor mathematics, which involves mathematics outside the classroom. Students are led by their teachers to sensitize people in their communities through several activities about the importance of mathematics. The students get excited about their involvement in the activities and it has been largely successful from the reports and pictures I get from the teachers nationwide.
Putting all together, one can discern an enthusiasm towards the study of mathematics, but we need to sustain the efforts made so that we not to lose the gains chalked so far. We also need to increase the net wider to include teachers and students of private institutions and the Colleges of Education in the country and the circuit supervisors of GES, who supervise the teachers who have undergone the professional development courses in mathematics. Schools that have not as yet experienced the interventions but desire to can contact GMS directly through the email provided at the end of this article or through the Chief Director of MOE at the headquarters. We want to significantly reduce or completely eliminate phobia for mathematics in the country and replace it the principles and methods of mathematics that ensure the efficiency of everything that we do.
By: Prof. S. E. Anku,
President, GMS; firstname.lastname@example.org
ICME-13, Hamburg, Germany
Sunday, 24th July to Sunday, 31st July 2016.
The ICMI Executive Committee is pleased to announce its decision of accepting the invitation from Germany. We hope that the international mathematical education community will enthusiastically receive the invitation of our German colleagues for 2016, so to make ICME-13 a huge international event that will advance studies, interest and support for mathematics education all over the world.
The congress – to be held under the auspices of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) – will take place at the University of Hamburg from Sunday, 24th July to Sunday, 31st July 2016. Hamburg is a bustling cosmopolitan port in the north of Germany, and with 1.8 million inhabitants its second largest city. It offers a perfect environment for a challenging congress.
The website of ICME-13 can be found here: http://www.icme13.org/
The organization of the ICME-13 to take place in Hamburg, Germany, in July 24-31, 2016, is underway. The first International Program Committee (IPC) meeting met near Hamburg (June 15-21, 2013) to decide on the main components of the scientific program and the invited scholars. Most components of the program from previous meetings will be preserved (some with some minor modifications) and a few new features were added. The IPC also visited the congress venue and its facilities.
The work done by the Convenor, Gabriele Kaiser, by Marianne Nolte, the Chair of the Local Organizating Committee and their teams and by the IPC, as well as the impressive facilities, indicate that the congress will be very successful.
NATIONAL PRESENTATIONS AT ICME-13
According to tradition, ICME-13 will allot two 90 minute slots for National Presentations.
This allows countries to showcase various aspects of their mathematics education: curricula, preparation of teachers, statistics, educational policies, mathematics education research and/or any other aspect to be decided by the presenters. The National Presentation can include lectures, active demonstrations, material displays and illustrative videos.
In the past, the International Program Committee (IPC) invited a small number of countries to these presentations. The IPC of ICME-13 decided to solicit statements of intent from countries interested in presenting their mathematics education systems.
Such statements of intent should include:
– A brief proposal describing the intended activities and exhibitions.
– The name of the person responsible for that presentation.
– A strong commitment from the responsible person and/or two other persons to attend the conference and run the presentation.
– Statements (from the ICMI representative, prominent researchers, policy makers, educators, national associations and the like) in the proposing country, expressing their support and collaboration in order to plan and run the presentation.
Proposals for National Presentations from countries that did not present since ICME 9 will be considered.
National Travel and conference fees for the presenters and shipping fees for the materials needed for the presentation are the sole responsibility of the proposer and will not be reimbursed in part or in whole by neither by ICME-13 nor by ICMI.
Further, please note that the exhibition is purely educational and commercial exhibits are to be excluded.
Letter of intent following the above guidelines should be submitted to the Convenor of ICME-13 [Gabriele.Kaiser@uni-hamburg.de] before November 15, 2013.
Bids for ICME-13
For more information on how the bids for ICME-13 were handled please go here.
April 13–16, 2016 • San Francisco
Join more than 9,000 of your mathematics education peers at the premier math education event of the year.
Hear what makes the Annual Meeting a must-attend event year-after-year from fellow attendees and your colleagues in the classroom, then make your plans to join us in San Francisco today!
- What You Gain
“Anyone who calls themselves a math instructor should definitely attend this conference” – Janelle Miller, math coach from Illinois and 2014 Meeting attendee.
Examine the innovative ideas that can improve the quality of learning for every student.
- Insights into implementation and assessment of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
- Best practices directly from experts in mathematics education
- New ideas for integrating mathematics into other disciplines and supporting student learners
Get even more. Attending the NCTM Annual Meeting is also an important opportunity to collaborate and expand your professional network, and to learn about the latest teaching aids, lesson resources, and math activities in the Exhibit Hall.
“Get ideas from these people, hear their stories. It’s a window into worlds that you don’t live.” – Laurie Bass, teacher from New York and 2014 Meeting attendee
“I really loved the Exhibit area, because I had no idea there were the resources that were available to me. And it just allowed me to get new ideas and see all the potential that I could bring back to my students.” -Ricci Slobodnik, high school teacher from Nevada and 2014 Meeting attendee.
- Who is Going
Expand your professional network by including yourself in the list:
- Pre-K—12 teachers
- Math teacher educators
- New and soon-to-be teachers
- Math coaches and specialists
- Math researchers
- School and district administrators
According to Mr. Ablakwa, the Ministry considers the current curricular at the basic level to be “too high.”
Basic Education in Ghana, which is free and compulsory, lasts 11 years. Pupils between age 4-15-years are mandated to learn at least 10- in some cases 12- subjects at that level.
These include English Language, Ghanaian Language and Culture, Social Studies, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Basic, Design and Technology, Information and Communication Technology, French (optional), Religious and Moral Education.
However, speaking on Ghana Connect on Joy FM, Friday, Mr. Ablakwa said the curricular is undergoing a thorough review in order to cut down on the number of subjects to at most five. A public announcement to that effect is likely to be made latest by the end of September, he stated.
President of the Ghana Mathematics Society, Prof. Sitsofe Anku who featured on the programme had expressed worry about the number of courses taught at the basic level, thereby leaving pupils with little or no time to put to practice what they learnt in the classroom.
He, therefore, suggested the general review of the curricular to suit the geographical location of schools where pupils can readily find time to rehearse what they are taught when school is not in session.
“We make things look like there is no time because of the way things are structured. But there is a lot of time wasted; before you go and start the class you spend about 10 minutes to settle; the period is 30 minutes, and then you teach for 15 minutes, and it’s about time to go. How much are you going to do with these 15 minutes?”
The Deputy Minister in a response said the Professor’s assessment of the situation reflected exactly that of the sector Minister, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang, who has already tasked a committee to review the system.
“Indeed, these are views that we share at the Ministry [of Education], and my Boss have already put forward her proposal. She doesn’t think there should be more than five subjects at the basic level [and that] the current 10 to 12 subjects are too high.
“She has left it for an independent committee…which is looking at the general curriculum and other pedagogical matters. We believe that by the end of this month [September 2014] we will make a pronouncement on this, and then we’ll call a larger stakeholders’ meeting on this.”
Mr. Ablakwa said government is “careful not to really tinker with the core issues which may unnecessarily distabilise the students in school” since the education system has already “seen too many reviews.”
The strategy this round is to commit stakeholders to sign an agreement, if reached, to compel future governments to uphold the standard, he added.
“After we’ve looked at all of these quality issues we will convene a stakeholders’ conference…and we hope that we will all sign a commitment that whichever forms a government in the near future will be able to maintain what has been agreed.”
GMS CONGRESS 2015 IN KUMASI
Ghana Mathematics Society (GMS) is organizing this year’s National Congress, National Mathematics Day’s activities and the inauguration of the new executives of the National Association of Mathematics Students (NAMS- GHANA) at KNUST, Kumasi on Saturday, the 14th of February 2015, (Valentine Day), when GMS promotes showing of love to mathematics.
We are expecting GMS members from all over the country to attend this one day congress. We thank you for the anticipated support and you are invited to indulge in our activities to promote revamping of mathematics education in Ghana, under the theme: OUT-DOOR MATHEMATICS.
We shall deliberate on how to relate mathematics in the classroom to everyday-life activities.
NAMS comprises all tertiary students in Ghana (both public and private). The venue is College of Science Auditorium KNUST and the time is 9 am prompt. There will be annual membership dues payment of GH₵20.00 and conference registration fee of GH₵20.00
All are cordially invited.
Prof. S. E. Anku