CMESG 2018 brought together 155 educators of all levels, ranging from elementary school to post-secondary. In addition to the 150 educators from Canada, there were also five math education professors from Australia, England, Germany, Ireland, and Italy.
Unlike most academic conferences that are organized around presentations, CMESG conferences are always based on "conferring". Its main feature is the Working Group, where the participants divide into five groups, and meet for three full mornings to discuss a specific topic. CMESG is a fully bilingual conference, where participants are encouraged to speak in the language of their choice.
This year’s Working Groups were:
1) The 21st century mathematics curriculum
2) Confronting colonialism in mathematics and math education
3) Playing with mathematics and learning mathematics through play
4) Robotics in mathematics education
5) Relation, Ritual, Romance: rethinking interest in mathematics learning
Assessment of Effectiveness:
In addition to the Working Groups, there were plenaries from two award-winning professors (one talk in each official language), invited presentations from several senior members of the CMESG community, and 30-minute thesis summaries delivered by eight Canadians who had recently completed a PhD in Mathematics Education.
Finally, there was an hour-long “Gallery Walk” that provided a forum for twenty participants to showcase their work and build networks. Contributions included research posters, presentations on community initiatives, and math problems that could be used in our teaching.
While the academic component of CMESG was quite intense, we also made time for fun social activities. These included an afternoon excursion (to either the Sea to Sky Gondola or the Britannia Mine Museum), an evening talent show, and a dinner and dancing party at a local farm-to-table restaurant.
This 5-day 155-person conference was remarkable, and let to numerous networks being formed, especially through the deep Working Group discussions. A full report on the conference will be published in the CMESG Official Proceedings, which will be available in 2019, at www.cmesg.org.
Funding for the conference was obtained from the Pacific Institute of Mathematical Sciences (PIMS), the British Columbia Association of Mathematics Teachers (BCAMT), and the Canadian Mathematical Society (CMS).
The CMS grant was used to pay for our transportation services, with 50+ participants signing up for the shuttle service that took them to Squamish from YVR Airport or Downtown Vancouver. The PIMS and BCAMT grants were applied to cover the registration costs of seventeen K-12 teachers in British Columbia. We were grateful that so many practicing teachers (nearly 30 from across Canada) could participate in the 5-day conference, and share their experience and knowledge with university mathematicians as well as professors teaching in Faculties of Education.
Future Plans (if any):
Next year’s CMESG will take place at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
I'll be attending as a participant, not as the organizer :-)
We had a revenue of $37,600 from registration fees and grants. And we had expenditures of $37,400 for our various expenses: meals, excursion, closing dinner and dancing party, booking rooms at Quest University, transportation costs, etc. We were grateful for the $800 from the CMS Endowment Grant, which enabled us to end with a small surplus.
Contact Name: Richard Hoshino
[June 11, 2018]