The Annual National Council for Teachers of Mathematics 2018 attracted thousands of educators globally to Washington D.C. Amongst the attendees were our very own Dr. Janine Stewart and Tracy Diplock who spent their Term 1 break at the conference. This year the theme was ‘Access and Equity in Maths Education’.
“It’s like Comic-Con for maths teachers, just without the costumes,” laughs Janine.
Over the four days there were 700 presenters that focused on learning for Pre-Kindergarten to higher education. Some of the stand out sessions included ‘Girls Sticking to STEM’ and a Pre-Kindergarten to Year 2 program called ‘Maths is all Around’ that takes the form of a mathematical scavenger hunt.
“A focus theme was growth mindset for both staff and students. This allows students to express their ideas in different ways and be flexible in thinking,” explains Janine. “Maths isn’t just about the procedure and theory, it’s about how you look at the world and understand the world around you.”
Already, strategies learned at the conference are being implemented at SCAS. One of the most exciting elements being that classrooms can now operate on a global scale.
“We are setting up online collaborative learning communities with several schools in the United States,” explains Tracy. “The students will be collaboratively working on mathematical problems and making connections across the globe.”
Most importantly, the conference gave great light to the universal nature of mathematics that can transcend global boundaries.
“It doesn’t matter where you are, you can transmit the beauty of maths globally,” says Janine. “There is always a thirst for knowledge, you just need to spark it.”