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Thursday, June 18 • 10:30am - 11:15am
CON05.07 - Small number's adventures in mathematics and language

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The main aim of this workshop is to discuss the following question: how can we increase students' engagement with academic concepts in a way they find attractive, interesting, and thought provoking?

To steer this discussion we will share our experience from our attempt to use popular media to promote and teach concepts coming from seemingly unconnected areas: First Nations' languages and mathematics. We will also show a selection of clips from animated films about Small Number, a young boy who recognizes mathematics in everything around him. We will give a few examples how the films have been used as learning resources in various forms, nationally and internationally. The Small Number stories have been translated and narrated into several First Nations' languages. 

We invite everyone who has experimented with or is thinking about using popular media in teaching to join us for this session. Some of the questions that we intend to discuss include: Are popular media appropriate vehicles to communicate 'high culture' with students? What do we gain or/and lose when we adjust complex and possibly trandisciplinary ideas to the format of a particular medium? How do we measure the impact that a learning resource in the pop cultural format makes, both locally and globally? And what happens when our learning resources get their (pop cultural) lives on their own?


Jungic, V., & Mac Lean, M., (2011). Small Number: Breaking the pattern, CMS Notes, Volume 43 No. 6, 10-13

Singh, S., (2013). The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

Thursday June 18, 2015 10:30am - 11:15am PDT
Salon 2

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