The Nature of Mathematics I

A main objective of this course is to provide opportunities for students to develop a positive attitude towards mathematics and to achieve success in thinking mathematically. The course is intended primarily for students concurrently enrolled in the Primary/Junior or Junior/Intermediate programmes in the Faculty of Education. Prospective students should not be discouraged from taking this course either because their backgrounds in mathematics are incomplete or because past experiences have caused them to fear mathematics.

The course will examine some of the areas of mathematics which are relevant to the Primary, Junior and Intermediate curriculum and will focus on the role of language and critical thinking in the construction of mathematical ideas and concepts. An investigative, exploratory approach will be encouraged. Students will work in small groups on selected problems and attention will be given to developing students' reading, writing and speaking skills in communicating mathematics.

The final grade will be based on a combination of specific assignments and projects. The specific breakdown will be decided upon at the start of the course.

IMPORTANT. As this minicalendar goes to press, discussions are taking place between the Department, the Faculty of Education and the North York Board of Education which would embed this course in a proposed ``Mathematics Leadership Programme'' involving both teacher candidates and practicing teachers. While the objectives outlined above would remain in place, the proposal would require the completion of some additional components and some departure from the standard timetable format. For details of these changes, please keep in touch with the course coordinator.