2005 Canadian Mathematics Education Forum
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
May 6-8, 2005

The 2005 Canadian Mathematics Education Forum (CMEF2005) is organized by the Canadian Mathematics Society (CMS). The Forum will be held May 6-8, 2005 at the University of Toronto with some activities at the nearby Fields Institute. This Forum follows the one held in 2003 in Montreal. The 2005 Forum is the third organized by the CMS, the first national forum in mathematical education being held in Quebec in May 1995.

The purpose of the 2005 invitational forum is to develop a national on-going conversation, among educators at all levels of schooling, about important issues and concerns in the development and future of mathematics education in Canada. The overall theme of the 2005 Forum is "Why teach Mathematics?" The Forum is thought of as a working meeting and will include plenary panel sessions and talks as well eleven working groups.

The Forum will bring together some 200 participants coming from all sectors connected to education in mathematics and from all the provinces and territories of Canada:

  • Teachers and instructors of mathematics at all the levels

  • Researchers in mathematics and mathematics education

  • Consultants and education advisers

  • Representatives of associations of teaching and teachers of mathematics

  • Representatives of the provincial ministries for education

  • Representatives of other groups having a particular interest for the teaching of mathematics: industry representatives, parents, administrators, editors, textbook writers etc.

The participation in the Forum is by invitation.

It is the intent that groups working together in this forum will develop projects, initiatives, and statements that will outline ways in which Canadians may address these issues and concerns. The projects, initiatives, and statements developed during this forum will be shared widely with policy makers, school divisions, universities, colleges, parents, students, and the general public in a variety of ways.

  Public Lecture

The public lecture will be given by Stephen Lewis on Friday, May 6, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. The public lecture will be held in the Medical Sciences Auditorium MS2158.


Opening Panel - Friday May 6, 9:00 - 10:00
Location: Earth Sciences Auditorium ES1050

Why Should we be Talking Together and Why Should the Focus of our Talk Be Mathematics?

As we initiate our conversation about mathematics education, we can ask ourselves why mathematics is so important to us and why we think it should be important to others and to the society at large. This is of course a very important and immensely complex question.

Furthermore, as we are gathered together in this Forum, it should be because we feel that we can achieve more together than alone. Is working together in Canada really so important? If so, how can we achieve this? What have we done and how can we move forward?

Our four speakers will address these questions, each presenting us with a different perspective.


  • Pam Hagen, Westwood Elementary, British Columbia
  • Eric Muller, Brock University, Ontario
  • Christiane Rousseau, Université de Montréal, Quebec
  • Lee Wilson, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan

Second Panel - Friday May 6, 3:45 - 5:00

The Complexity of Knowing Mathematics for Teaching School Mathematics

It seems to be assumed that teaching mathematics at the elementary level is not very demanding in terms of one's own mathematical understanding. This is demonstrated, for instance, by the generally small portion of the elementary teacher preparation curriculum addressing mathematical understanding. Similarly, popular wisdom is that anyone with a science degree ought to be able to teach mathematics at the secondary level.

Throughout Canada, there are many examples which illustrate what can be achieved when serious consideration is given to the mathematical knowledge needed by teachers in their teaching. In particular, it can be argued that mathematics for teaching is different from mathematics for the mathematician or the engineer.

We have brought together four speakers who will address this issue.


  • Brent Davis, University of Alberta, Alberta
  • Ruth Dawson, Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, Ontario
  • Caroline Lajoie, Université du Québec à Montréal, Quebec
  • Marie Thomson, Halifax Regional School Board, Nova Scotia

Third Panel - Saturday May 7, 1:45 - 3:15

The Complexity of Building Communities Interested in Mathematics Education

The Canadian context in education, as in many other areas, is a varied one. Throughout our country, there are different curricula, many languages, and vastly diverse cultures. As individuals, gathered at this Forum, we are representative of the Canadian context as we come from different constituencies and our interests and expertise vary greatly. Is it realistic to try to work together on the improvement of mathematics education in Canada?

It seems that in some countries, mathematicians, mathematics educators and teachers have developed greater cooperation than in Canada. It is even true that the Nordic countries are collaborating on many educational projects, as was displayed at the last International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-10, Denmark, July 2004). What are the elements needed for such cooperative endeavours? What can we learn from them?

Our speakers are Mogens Niss, ex Secretary-general of ICMI (International Commission on Mathematical Instruction) and Chair of the International Programme Committee of ICME-10, and Florence Glanfield, who besides co-chairing this Forum is a strong advocate for forming an organization such as the Canadian Association for the Teaching of Mathematics.

Sharing successes - Friday May 6, 1:55 - 3:30

The session is devoted to providing a series of opportunities for sharing Success Stories of projects and initiatives in mathematics education across Canada. A detailed program will be available at the Forum.

Working group reports - Sunday May 8, 9:00 - 10:15

This plenary session is devoted to a brief presentation by each of the working groups (5 minutes each).

Closing session - Sunday May 8, 10:30 - 12:00

In this plenary session, participants will be invited to give their input regarding the working group reports as well as suggestions for follow-up. The session will be concluded by some closing remarks from the Chairs of the 2005 Forum.

  Working Groups


The Forum officially begins with Opening Remarks at 8:30 am on Friday, May 6 in the Earth Sciences auditorium on the campus of the University of Toronto. You can see a map of the campus at http://www.osm.utoronto.ca/map/. The Earth Sciences building is the one marked ES and is most easily accessed from the lane called Bancroft Ave.

  Social Events

There will be early registration on Thursday, May 5 from 5-7 pm at the Fields Institute, located at 222 College St. on the second floor. During registration there will be a small welcoming reception with cash bar at the Institute. Please come along.

On Friday, May 6 from 5-6 pm, the Canadian Mathematical Society will host a reception in the lobby of the Earth Sciences Auditorium where the majority of Forum activities will be taking place.

On Saturday, May 7, the Forum banquet will be held at Bright Pearl Seafood Restaurant on 348 Spadina Avenue beginning at 7 pm; a cash bar will precede the banquet at 6:30.  The banquet menu includes both vegetarian and meat choices, participants with additional dietary restrictions should let us know at: cmsforum@fields.utoronto.ca before May 1. Participants wishing to purchase additional tickets to the banquet can do so during early registration and on the first day of the forum.


Canadian Mathematical Society, Ottawa, Ontario
IBM, Markham, Ontario
Pearson Education Canada, Toronto, Ontario
Statistics Canada, Toronto, Ontario
Texas Instruments, Toronto, Ontario
Wiley and Sons, Toronto, Ontario

Exhibitor Presentations: During lunchtime on Friday, May 6, participants are invited to attend by the following exhibitors:

Wiley and Sons 12:40 - 1:10

IBM 1:10 - 1:40


The 2005 Forum aims to gather participants who represent the mathematics education landscape of Canada. The invitation list was drawn up from suggestions made by teacher organisations, program committee members and the Canadian Mathematical Society.

If you would like to be invited to take part in the Forum, please write to Bradd Hart at hartb@mcmaster.ca as we will possibly be able to issue more invitations than those initially made. Please indicate briefly why you wish to attend and if you require financial support. Note that this does not guarantee that you will receive an invitation.


Only invited participants may register for the Forum.  An on-line pre-registration form is available.

Registration starts on Friday at 7:30 am in the lobby of the Earth Science building (marked ES on the map). Early registration and a reception will be held on Thursday, May 5 at the Fields Institute located at 222 College St. on the second floor (the building marked FI on the map) which runs from 5 - 7 pm. The registration fee for the meeting is $200 and is payable either by cheque made out to the Canadian Mathematical Society or by credit card.


89 Chestnut Residence Toronto
(see below for on-line booking)

The look and feel of a hotel and the economy of a residence.

This University of Toronto residence is located in the heart of downtown with Toronto's visually-famous City Hall and Nathan Phillip's Square as direct neighbors. This is a Non-Smoking facility; housekeeping twice per 7 day stay. Rooms have a private bathroom, but no TV is provided. Local calls are free, personal calling cards are required for long-distance calls. Full payment is required on check in. The CMS Forum site residence is bout 15 minutes walk to the CMS Forum site.


All reservations must be made by April 10, 2005. Rooms will be released to general booking after this date.
Rates: CAN$79.00 single/$89.00 double (plus tax approx. 12%); price includes a continental breakfast, a full breakfast is available for an additional $5 per person.

To use the on-line booking system click HERE
1) Click "create a new account"
2) enter the approval code "CMS Forum"
3) you will be prompted for contact and credit card information and then will be able to book your accommodation.

Reservations can also be made by calling 416-977-0707 ext. 8194.

Further information can be found on the housing web page of The Fields Institute.

  Child Care

Temporary Child Care Suggestions

Please note that the CMS is not in a position to recommend childcare and assumes no liability for the services of the childcare centres listed. This listing is for information only. The following links are Toronto companies that offer services of temporary child care:

  Computer Services

Computer Services: Fields Institute, 222 College Street
Hours: Friday May 6, 9am - 5pm; Saturday May 7, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. only

Computer accounts are available to CMS Forum participants at Fields, see the Members Liaison in Room 328 on Friday if you require a computer account.

Accessing Your Email, the Web, or an Account at your Home Institution

If you need to connect via telnet or ssh (also called slogin) to a remote system at your home institution (e.g. to check your email), you can use one of the public Windows or Macintosh computers at Fields , in the computer lab on the main floor or on the second floor by the stair case (see the sign beside the machine for login instructions and obtain the "public windows/macintosh password" from the Members Liaison in room 328 or from reception), or you can use one of the Linux terminals or workstations by entering a special "telnet/SSH only" login id and password which you can obtain from the Members Liaison in room 328 or from reception. For browsing the web or accessing web-based email, the public Windows or Macintosh computers should be sufficient.


For wireless connection, simply use a 'wireless key' that can be picked up from the Members Liaison in room 328 or at reception.


For travel information, please consult the directions to the Fields Institute and the map of the University of Toronto.


Parking is available underground at the BCIT building (entry on Huron St. - see #19 on map, just north of College Street). Note that the Forum is taking place at Huron and Bancroft Street 1 1/2 blocks north of the parking garage.

  Campus Security

Police & Emergency Assistance (from the University of Toronto campus police):

General Campus inquiries: (416) 978-2323
For campus police: (416) 978-2222
Dial 9- 911 for emergencies.


  • Canadian Mathematical Society
  • Alberta Education
  • Fields Institute
  • Ministère de L'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport du Québec
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Nova Scotia Department of Education
  • Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences
  • Yukon Department of Education
  • McMaster University
  • Centre de recherches mathématiques
  • Institut des sciences mathématiques
  • Toronto District School Board
  • Ontario Ministry of Education
  • Saskatchewan Learning
  • Nunavut Department of Education
  • Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematics Society
  • Statistical Society of Canada
  • Université Laval
  • Nova Scotia Mathematics Teachers' Association
  • Ontario Association for Mathematics Education
  • BC Association of Mathematics Teachers
  • Saskatchewan Mathematics Teacher Society
  • Association Mathématique du Québec
  • Groupe des responsables en mathématiques au secondaire