[Maths-Education] Fallout
Geoff Roulet
rouletg@educ.queensu.ca
Mon, 11 Dec 2000 12:20:06 -0500
Douglas Boulter asked about mathematics teacher supply and demand in
countries other than the UK.
In response below are the first couple paragraphs of a background paper
that I prepared for a meeting this Fall where representatives of university
Mathematics Departments discussed this issue and how it might be addressed.
Note that while in the last line I suggest that "reducing entry
qualifications is not a viable option", others (not mathematics educators)
see this differently and as a result we at Queen's University will be
reducing out admission requirements.
Geoff Roulet
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Ontario Secondary School Mathematics Teacher Education:
Why It Should Be of Concern to Your Department of Mathematics
Ontario Secondary School Mathematics Teacher Supply and Demand - A Growing
Crisis
Data gathered by the Ontario College of Teachers show a growing imbalance
between teacher supply and demand. Over fifteen thousand teachers have
retired during the past two years and, with over half the profession of age
50 years or more, this trend will continue. Teacher shortages are expected
at all grades and subjects, but high school mathematics is predicted to be
a point of major concern. Ontario mathematics classrooms have not been
left unattended, but regulations that grant school principals considerable
flexibility in creating teacher assignments are resulting in increasing
numbers of mathematics courses led by teachers lacking appropriate subject
qualifications.
At present, a solution to the growing mathematics teacher shortage is not
in sight. Twenty-seven percent of presently qualified mathematics teachers
will retire over the next 5 years, and the yearly average of 540 retirees
is 175% of the present graduation rate. Recent increases in the number of
spaces in teacher education programs have not had much impact in our
subject area. The 500 extra enrolments for 1999-2000 resulted in only 32
more mathematics teacher candidates. Mathematics qualified graduates from
university bachelors programs are not applying to Faculties of Education,
and reducing entry qualifications is not a viable option.
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Geoffrey Roulet
Coordinator, Centre for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education
Faculty of Education
Queen's University
Kingston, ON
K7L 3N6
Phone: 613-533-6000 ext. 74935 (Work External)
74935 (Work Internal)
613-531-3348 (Home)
Fax: 613-533-6584
Internet: rouletg@educ.queensu.ca
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