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A three-day workshop with Marteen Dolk

Thursday, 20 July 2012, students of International Master Program on Mathematics Education (IMPoME ) 2012 at Sriwijaya University, Palembang, had a three day workshop with Marteen Dolk, a head of mathematics education study program at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Fifteen students coming from different cities in Indonesia should attend this workshop as one of compulsory requirements to study in Holland. This workshop was aimed to assess our ability skills-English, Mathematics, bravery, thinking, confidence, and team working.    

On the first day, we were warmly welcomed by Prof. Zulkardi, M.Sc who is the head of mathematics education department at post graduate degree of Sriwijaya University. There were also Prof. R.K Sembiring, one of Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) promoters and initiators in Indonesia who pays a lot of attention to education in Indonesia especially in mathematics education. We had to introduce ourselves to Marteen and he gave us a material about mathematics problem related to geometry. He showed a picture of building, a Spain church and our duty was to find the shape of the church if it is seen from above, is it six-sided (hexagonal) or eight-sided (octagonal)? We were divided into groups and aimed to solve this problem. Here, our mathematics skills were assessed by being asked by observers and convincing other member of group dealing with the church shape from above.  Having finished a group discussion we had to write down our result in a giant paper and embedded it into wall so other groups could see and compare to their results. In the end, individual report should be collected and Marteen gave us the answer which was "eight-sided" by giving a real design and structure of that Spain church, he also gave us homework of two articles to read and prepare  for tomorrow. The first day ended at 5 p.m. with a wonderful experience.

Friday, 21 July 2012, Let me tell you that it was the first day of fasting month Ramadan so it would be harder than yesterday and one of students did not come because she had to back to her city. After spending a whole night reading and preparing those articles I should be ready to talk about them in a group discussion. . Even though I was nervous and a little bit afraid of my understanding, I convinced myself to be brave and confident. Comparing and analyzing two different articles by Judith Sowder and Stanley Ocken with different point of views was difficult for me to cope with a question that could cover those papers. To have not only  a good understanding in reading books or references but also a good reasoning to convince others is very important for students especially who study abroad in order to get succeed.  Now i realize that i need to read a lot and build my critical thinking. The last session was about analyzing how 3rd grader did share sandwiches and get the most part of sandwiches by choosing which trip taking him/her to some tourism palces in the USA. There are five trips and here is the illustration, the first tour bus consisting of eight children and seven sandwiches goes to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The second one goes to Museum of Modern Art consisting five children and four sandwiches. A bus visiting Museum of National History carries four children and three sandwiches. The last bus heading to Planetarium has three sandwiches and carries five children. We should pretend as a 3rd grader to solve this problem through knowledge and thinking of a ten-year old child.

The last day of the workshop was so unforgettable day since we had an interview with Marteen and Mr. Zulkardi. Having trouble with English was not a big deal since this interview did not test us in English skills but it dealed with your submitted paper or task which you think the best for you and why you think so. Unfortunately, i got the last turn having interview with Marteen and Mr. Zulkardi and i felt so nervous. Finally, Marteen said that some of us could study to the Netherlands but we should study both mathematics and English and work hard in order to survive there. Hearing that two of us did not have that chance was so sad. An English course is waiting for us in order to learn English and to pass 6.5 IELTS score as the minimum score to study at Utrecht University. The moment of taking some pictures with Marteen is so nice and great. 

Those three days were so amazing, hopefully you will have that experience in IMPoME 2013, so sweat for it guys!!!.

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