ABOUT

LearnX.ca is an idea and research dissemination project, on teaching & learning about AI, math & science (& more), based on work supported by:

TEAM

Leads: George Gadanidis (Western) & Janette Hughes (Ontario Tech)

Support: Laura Dobos (MA candidate, Ontario Tech), Lisa Anne Floyd (PhD candidate, Western), Molly Gadanidis (undergrad student, Ottawa), Zeynep Gecu-Parmaksiz (post-doc, Ontario Tech), Li Li (PhD candidate, Western), Margie Lam (MA candidate, Ontario Tech), Laura Morrison (EdD candidate, Calgary)

CONTACT

George Gadanidis: ggadanid@uwo.ca

PUZZLE TO SOLVE

Here is the puzzle we are trying to solve:

How do we share a good idea — with wonder & insight — so others may want to also share it?

DESIGN PRINCIPLES

Our design principles is based on what we have learned from our work in mathematics education and research.

  1. Math is big. Children’s minds are bigger. We want to teach the content of grade-specific mathematics expectations. And we want students to experience this content (1) in a context of big math ideas, (2) with opportunities to model and investigate, (3) through mathematical beauty and wonder, and (4) while developing social-emotional learning skills.
  2. Math is worth doing. Math is worth talking about. At least once each unit of study, students should experience mathematics that (1) is worthy of their attention, worthy of their wonderful potential, and (2) can be shared beyond the classroom as a story or experience that offers mathematical surprise and insight.

We have been using and researching these principles in Ontario classrooms, and classrooms in Brazil, for many years. We are excited to build on this experience and expertise through this project.

We believe that occasional, well-designed aesthetic mathematics experiences “that are immersive, infused with meaning, and felt as coherent and complete” (Parrish, 2009, p.511), and the associated experience of complex, surprising, emotionally engaging, and viscerally pleasing mathematics, can serve as “a process of enculturation” (Brown, Collins and Duguid, 1989, p. 33) with lasting impact on students’ (and teachers’) dispositions, living fruitfully in future experiences (Dewey, 1938) by raising expectation and anticipation of what mathematics can offer, and what the intellectual, emotional and visceral rewards might be when quenching a thirst for mathematics.

Gadanidis, G., Borba, M., Hughes, J. and Lacerda, H. (2016). Designing aesthetic experiences for young mathematicians: A model for mathematics education reform. International Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 6(2), 225-244.