The Scottish Network for Able Pupils and the TILE Network are delighted to host a webinar as part of the European Researcher’s Night. Bringing together experts from Scotland, Sweden and Germany we will explore how we can support highly able mathematicians in our classrooms. This webinar will be of interest to teachers, student teachers, policy makers, parents, authority personnel and all who have an interest in mathematics.
4.00-4.15pm: Introduction | Dr Margaret Sutherland, SNAP, University of Glasgow, UK
4:15-4:30pm : How To Foster Mathematically Gifted Students In Times Of Corona | Prof Dr Marianne Nolte | University of Hamburg, Germany
At the University of Hamburg we work with mathematically gifted students starting with third graders up to 9th graders. The students get one problem which is complex and challenging. But, no more than the usual acquired knowledge is necessary to work on the problem. One session takes 90 minutes. Since midst of March we stopped presence sessions. We offered correspondence circles and have since August switched to digital sessions. In this talk I will present our observations and give a short impression about the reactions of students and parents.
4:30-4:45pm: Supporting Mathematically Highly Able Students In Sweden | Dr Elisabet Mellroth | Karlstad Municipality, Sweden
It has been a tradition in Sweden for very long to focus on helping each student reach the passing level in school, little if any focus has been given to those who learn with ease, that is the highly able students. The consequences have been that children who learn mathematics easily often has been forced to redo mathematics over and over again or being offered next level without any chances of getting grades. For the student this causes a lot of frustration and in the worst cases self-destructive behavior and/or dropping out from school. When students with high ability in mathematics are offered structured support with a long-term plan and when they are given opportunities to work with likeminded it means a lot for their knowledge development as well for their social development. In 2015 the Swedish National agency of education released a support material for teaching highly able students. Since than some municipalities have started to work on developing strategies of how to meet their highly able students. In my talk I will give examples of the newly released strategy plan from Stockholm City, the largest municipality in Sweden.
4.45-5.00pm: Just Harder Sums? Challenges In Conceptions Of The Mathematical Sciences And Transitions To University-Level Studies | Dr Andrew Wilson, University of Glasgow, UK
At a time of global change, mathematical sciences occupy an increasingly central role – both overtly and covertly – in shaping and guiding our lives. They are social, creative, living and breathing subjects from which all of society benefits, oftentimes inadvertently. However, this understanding is frequently absent in students as they transition into Higher Education. This presentation will share insights on the common challenges we encounter, together with an initiative designed to connect children and young people with this realisation. In our transdisciplinary photo competition, we provide a framework to identify, consider and celebrate the maths surrounding us: the maths inside. Fostering curiosity, creativity, and creating opportunity for participants to embark on a journey of discovery towards making deeper mathematical connections, this project is especially well matched to the needs of those with highly able minds.
5.00-5.30pm: Questions and Answers
About the speakers:
Prof Dr Marianne Nolte is professor for mathematical didactics at the University of Hamburg (retired autumns 2019). She established a foster and research program for mathematically gifted primary grade students, which she runs since 1999, adapted and further developed from the program of the William Stern Society Hamburg (WSG) for mathematically highly gifted students from 7th grade up to Abitur (headed by the late Prof. K. Kießwetter). In the meantime, this program was extended year by year to the classes of the secondary level with less intensity than the WSG program. Beside her own professional experience as a teacher she worked as a therapist for students with dyscalculia. Thus, she also established a master program for prospective therapists together in a multi-professional team. Her main areas of research are mathematical giftedness, twice exceptional students and dyscalculia. She is president of MCG (International Group for Mathematical Creativity and Giftedness) and president of WSG Hamburg.
Dr Elisabet Mellroth has a Ph.D. in educational work, her research focus is on how teachers can include highly able students in learning. She is a guest lecturer at Örebro university and affiliated researcher at Karlstad university. She also works as a mathematics teacher in upper secondary school were, she also is responsible for some school development projects. She gives seminars on gifted education all over Sweden for municipalities and teacher education. She is a committee member in the International group of Mathematics Creativity and Giftedness and in the European Council of High Ability.
Dr Andrew Wilson is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow School of Mathematics and Statistics, the Convenor of the Edinburgh Mathematical Society Education Committee, and Convenor of the School Outreach Committee. His talk Embedding Play in Higher Education attracted the vote of peers to win best presentation at the 11th University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference in 2018. His outreach project Street Maths, was awarded the 2016 Wellcome Trust ISSF Award for Innovation in Public Engagement. Andrew founded and directs the transdisciplinary maths inside photo competition that seeks to spark the mathematical curiosity of the nation, and raise awareness of the often unseen mathematics all around us. His work in improving student assessment and feedback experience attracted both College and University Teaching Excellence Awards in 2014 and 2015 respectively and the project’s success – including the introduction of e-Assessment into the undergraduate syllabus – was further honoured with a Herald Innovation Technology Excellence Award in 2016. This was a large collaborative team project involving many colleagues across the School. Andrew’s interests include Assessment and Feedback to Large Cohorts, e-Assessment, Widening Participation, Outreach, Student Engagement, and playfulness in Higher Education. He can be contacted by email and on Twitter @tentivetodetail.