PIMS Education Public Lecture: John Mason

  • Date: 05/10/2017
John Mason, Prof Emeritus, University of Oxford

Earth Sciences Building, 2012, 4:00pm - 5:30pm


Teaching More by Teaching Less by Calling Upon Learners to Use Their Natural Powers


Participants will be invited to engage in a series of mathematical tasks which highlight ways of getting learners to use and develop their undoubted powers (imagining & expressing; specialising & generalizing; conjecturing & convincing).



Speaker Biography: Fifty-seven years ago, growing up in Canada, John was asked to tutor a fellow student in mathematics, and he has taught someone some mathematics every year since then. Inspired by George Pólya, Caleb Gattegno, J. G. Bennett and Dick Tahta, his central interest and concern is how to support people in learning mathematics, and how to support those who wish to support others in developing their mathematical thinking. Founder member and sometime leader/director of the Open University Centre for Mathematics Education, John has written dozens of books, pamphlets and OU teaching materials in support of the teaching of mathematics, and conducted workshops all over the world. Recently retired from the Open University, he continues to work on mathematics himself so as to be sensitive to the struggles of others in learning and teaching mathematics. He is concerned that while talking to oneself by talking to others can be helpful, periods of individual thinking are essential in order to develop as a mathematics learner or teacher.
In 1982 he wrote Thinking Mathematically with Leone Burton and Kaye Stacey, which has turned into a classic (translated into four languages; now in an extended new edition), and is still in use in many countries around the world with advanced high school students, with graduates becoming school teachers, and with undergraduates in courses in which students are invited to think about the nature of doing and learning mathematics. Other publications include Questions and Prompts for Mathematical Thinking; Thinkers; and Mathematics as a Constructive Activity: learners generating examples.


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Location: UBC Earth Sciences Building Room 2012


Light refreshments will be provided before the talk, from 4:00pm - 4:30pm