WORKSHOP THEMES

Twice during the course of the Workshop, participants broke into working groups. Each working group discussed one of the following topics: tracking, core curriculum, students' needs, and articulation. During the morning sessions, participants were asked to identify areas of agreement and disagreement as well as additional issues that needed to be put on the table. Each working group presented a brief report to the Workshop immediately after lunch. Participants were asked to attend different groups in the afternoon sessions to discuss the new issues that were raised, attempt to resolve areas of disagreement (or leave them as such), and suggest areas for further action by specific groups. Reports from the afternoon sessions were presented at a final plenary session. The ideas that emerged from the working group discussions are summarized in “Altering the Debate.”

TRACKING
  • Isn't “tech-prep” just the old vocational education track?

  • Do technical education tracks limit students' options?

  • When should tracking begin—grade 5? grade 9? grade 11? never?

  • To what extent does tracking affect student motivation?

  • How can parents be helped to understand the issues involved in tracking?

CORE CURRICULUM
  • Can a single mathematics curriculum meet all students' needs?

  • Are there fundamental differences between a work-prep and a college-prep mathematics curriculum?

  • What would be the essential components of a single core curriculum?

  • What are the mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills needed by workers in a technological workplace?

  • How would we define a seamless interface between theoretical and applied mathematics for all students (and for all future workers)?



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OCR for page 17
MATHEMATICAL PREPARATION OF THE TECHNICAL WORK FORCE: REPORT OF A WORKSHOP WORKSHOP THEMES Twice during the course of the Workshop, participants broke into working groups. Each working group discussed one of the following topics: tracking, core curriculum, students' needs, and articulation. During the morning sessions, participants were asked to identify areas of agreement and disagreement as well as additional issues that needed to be put on the table. Each working group presented a brief report to the Workshop immediately after lunch. Participants were asked to attend different groups in the afternoon sessions to discuss the new issues that were raised, attempt to resolve areas of disagreement (or leave them as such), and suggest areas for further action by specific groups. Reports from the afternoon sessions were presented at a final plenary session. The ideas that emerged from the working group discussions are summarized in “Altering the Debate.” TRACKING Isn't “tech-prep” just the old vocational education track? Do technical education tracks limit students' options? When should tracking begin—grade 5? grade 9? grade 11? never? To what extent does tracking affect student motivation? How can parents be helped to understand the issues involved in tracking? CORE CURRICULUM Can a single mathematics curriculum meet all students' needs? Are there fundamental differences between a work-prep and a college-prep mathematics curriculum? What would be the essential components of a single core curriculum? What are the mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills needed by workers in a technological workplace? How would we define a seamless interface between theoretical and applied mathematics for all students (and for all future workers)?

OCR for page 17
MATHEMATICAL PREPARATION OF THE TECHNICAL WORK FORCE: REPORT OF A WORKSHOP STUDENT NEEDS Who benefits from tech-prep? How important is it that students' options be kept open? How can students' options be kept open? Does our approach to mathematics education have negative effects on students' options? How can technical education programs meet the needs of both traditional college-age students and older returning students? How can parents be helped to understand the value of technical education programs? ARTICULATION How can we achieve articulation Among standards? Among institutions? Among communities? What are the barriers that must be overcome? How can we articulate the relationship of mathematics to other disciplines? Can we make education more effective by integrating disciplines?