Professional engagement


Rationale: Professional engagement is a key to successful professional development. Professional associations at national and local levels offer the most efficient and productive ways of connecting with professional colleagues. While local associations are generally of the most immediate relevance, much is to be gained by using more distant associations as well; this of course includes associations concerned with research and development in mathematics education. Other opportunities for professionals to engage with each other are also important, including recent web-based opportunities.


There are some examples below, although the most important examples for a teacher are usually those closest to their home:



Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers


This website provides information about the activities of the AAMT, AustraliaÕs premier organisation of mathematics educators, comprising a federation of various state-based associations of teachers of mathematics. The website provides information about current activities, especially those with a national focus, including opportunities for professional learning, a significant list of publications available for purchase and subscription and details of the AAMT Standards for Excellence, as well as other materials of various kinds. This site is also a convenient portal to various Australian Associations. The AAMT email list is especially active and provides opportunities for professional conversation amongst mathematics teachers within and beyond Australia.



Mathematical Association of Western Australia


The Mathematical Association of Western Australia (MAWA) is one of the associations affiliated to the AAMT. The website focuses on local activities and interests mostly, although not entirely. (E.g., Some of the publications in the Catalogue have national and even international interest, while the Have Sum Fun Online activity for students accommodates students from many places, locally, nationally and internationally). Professional development opportunities are generally locally conducted and inspired, and cater for the needs of local teachers.



Association of Teachers of Mathematics


The ATM is one of the two national professional associations of mathematics teachers in the UK. Like the NCTM, it also has a significant number of foreign members as well. The website provides many opportunities for teachers to learn about developments in mathematics teaching in the UK, as well as very many opportunities to support their work in classrooms. The ATM has long been recognised as a significant publisher of high quality thoughtful materials for teachers and their annual conferences have also been held in very high regard. The excellent journal Mathematics Teaching has recently been supplemented by MTi, an online interactive journal, most of which is for members, but some of which is available for others as well. (The first issue is available to all.) This site and Association has much to offer that is not available elsewhere. Start with the Information page.




The Mathematical Association


This is the home page of a major professional association in the UK, offering different views and perspectives at times from the other association, the ATM (above). Apart from local professional development opportunities and information about the associationÕs (excellent) publications, the website offers good resource advice for various levels of schooling, such as the substantial collection of applications of mathematics. The Post-16 resources and links are probably the most extensive, perhaps reflecting the associationÕs historical strong connections with universities.





The Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) is the key organisation in the region for research in mathematics education. MERGA conducts annual conferences and publishes excellent journals for members and others, informing the work of teachers at various levels. As well as information about forthcoming activities and publications available for sale, the website offers a terrific resource of electronic versions of recent publications that can be downloaded. In addition, the website has a search facility, so that visitors can access research published by MERGA on various topics.


National Council for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics


This large site in the UK has been constructed with government funding to support mathematics teachers in a range of ways. While much of the news and many of the professional learning opportunities highlighted on the site, many provided by the NCETM itself, are particularly for UK teachers, there is also much here of wider interest. An outstanding example is the Mathemapedia, which is a Wiki for Mathematics Education, allowing users to contribute expertise, advice and information on an extensive range of topics and research of direct interest to teachers. There are also many online resources for teachers described and made available for download. The NCETM also generates professional magazines online, accessible here for teachers of various levels.



National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


The NCTM is the key professional body for mathematics teachers in the USA, where it has a significant influence on many aspects of mathematics education and is widely regarded as the voice of professionals. The website provides information about the many professional learning opportunities sponsored by the NCTM and access to its extensive publications available for subscription or sale. (Members can access journals online, including On-Math, an electronic journal as well as other materials not available to non-members.) The Lessons and Resources provide significant help of various kinds to teachers, well-organised for retrieval. The substantial developmental and research work conducted by the NCTM to develop curriculum and evaluation Standards can be accessed from the site.





The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) is is a commission of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), an international non-governmental and non-profit-making scientific organisation whose purpose is to promote international cooperation in mathematics. ICMI is the body responsible for the excellent four-yearly ICME meetings, as well as regular regional conferences and high quality professional publications. This website contains useful information about these various activities. The regular ICMI Studies result in internationally collaborative publications on topics of current interest. The resulting NISS publications can be purchased from Springer at a discount, described here. The biannual ICMI Bulletin is available on this site, describing forthcoming events.


The Mathematical Association of America


Although directed mostly at mathematicians in universities and elsewhere, the MAA website has very many components that mathematics teachers in schools will find interesting, useful (or both). The home page provides links to many excellent regular columns, including the MAA NumberADay blog describing a number each day, the MAA MinuteMath blog offering a problem a day from the MAAÕs competitions, the MAA Video UTube page containing a variety of interesting materials, and MAA podcasts, among others.


American Mathematical Society


The AMS website also has many items of value to teachers in schools, several of them under the heading of Math Awareness. The Mathematical Moments posters can be printed for classroom use, associated podcasts can be downloaded, the Feature Columns are generally very interesting and Math in the Media (with an archive) helps to make it clear that mathematics is alive and well today.



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Last updated: 8 September 2009