Scandinavian partners for math learning materials?
- CC: I share my request with some people who might know who might be
Edward Cherlin and all,
I'm writing a proposal for the NordPlus grants. Norway gives out about 8
million euros every year for education projects that link up partners in
the Scandinavian and Baltic countries.
The maximum grant is 75,000 EUR. It seems that about 50% of the proposals
received are funded. In particular, they do fund adult education learning
materials, as I wish to create in mathematics.
The theme this year is climate change.
I wish to create mathematics learning materials for adults, especially for
learning algebra. I need to help find partners in the Baltic and
I want to create self-standing lessons ("Classic Math Problems") that
combine a deep idea with a practical problem that illustrates it. For
example: Suppose a meal costs 9 euros in Arnold's restaurant and it costs
one-third more in Barbara's restaurant, but you have a coupon for
Barbara's restaurant so that the price is one-third off. Where is it
cheaper? Many people think that one-third more and one-third less cancel
each other, but actually, one-third more of 9 is 12 and one-third off of
12 is 8. The deep idea here is that algebra is the study of thinking
step-by-step and this problem is a very simple illustration of that. And
there can be many related variants.
I would like to write self-standing lessons about 30 such different
problems and I think that would cover almost all of algebra. They would
yield a little book of 150 pages or so which would let parents master
algebra well enough to teach their children. My work would be in the
Public Domain and could be used in all kinds of websites, too. See:
and there also I a set of notes which I wrote with which I taught algebra,
most recently in Bosnia.
I am looking especially for partners who would like to try these materials
out, who would like to translate them into their own languages, and who
would like to help look for such practical problems. This is paid work.
The theme is climate change so I'm thinking of phrasing it as "math
lessons for appreciating global realities".
Who might be most excited about such a practical approach to learning and
applying math? I recall Jeff Buderer's interested in learning math for
sustainability. I ask for help to find more such partners, but especially
for this proposal, in Scandinavian and Baltic countries.
I'm working on this at Edward's group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/earthtreasury/ a working group of Minciu
Sodas laboratory. Edward is leading an initiative to create open source
textbooks, especially for the One Laptop Per Child. I invite us to join
and work there!