Date: Jan 17, 2013 6:41 PM
Author: Jerry P. Becker
Subject: Conf. Announcement: Stockholm, Sweden
Sent at the request of Charles Fadel
SEE http://eventus.trippus.se/21stcenturymaths for information with
respect to Registration, Programme and Logistics
22-24 April 2013 -- Stockholm, Sweden
Norra Latin -- Stockholm City Conference Centre
21st Century Mathematics
"What should students learn in the 21st Century?"
A global conference of the CENTER FOR CURRICULUM REDESIGN in
collaboration with the
CONFEDERATION OF SWEDISH ENTERPRISE and the OECD CENTRE FOR
EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND INNOVATION (CERI)
What should students learn in the 21st century? This conference will
discuss top-level changes in the Math school curriculum, in terms of
what topics and branches should be added, and just as crucially, what
should be removed.
In the 21st century, humanity is facing severe difficulties at the
societal (global warming, financial stresses), economic
(globalization, innovation) and personal levels (employability,
happiness). Technology's exponential growth is rapidly compounding
the problems via automation and off-shoring, which are producing
social disruptions. Education is falling behind the curve, as it
did during the Industrial Revolution. The last profound changes to
curriculum were effected in the late 1800's as a response to the
sudden growth in societal and human capital needs. As the world of
the 21st century bears little resemblance to that of the 19th
century, education curricula are overdue for a major redesign.
This is all the more true in Science/Technology/Engineering/Math
(STEM), where demand is outpacing supply worldwide. Math being the
foundation of STEM, and in turn innovation, the situation requires
urgent attention. Beyond STEM professions, we are seeing very
significant innumeracy in a very large segment of the population,
which has severe consequences on the ability to understand the
Key questions to explore:
1. What should the goal of mathematics be in the 21st century?
a. What are the reasons for teaching mathematics? (as a tool, to
train abstract thinking, to train logic and reasoning, the ability to
argue/as a way of expression?)
b. How have the goals of mathematics drifted over time? (Priest
class-- logic, merchant class--accounting, trade class-- measurement
and geometry, and how this changed after the industrial revolution)
c. How does the present system achieve or fail to achieve these goals?
d. What is the role of Higher Ed accreditation in perpetuating the
status quo? e. What branches of mathematics matter to the widest
number of professions? Are they adequately represented in the
f. What is "math for the real-world"? How do most professions use
Maths? What could they use they are not learning?
2. What are the best practices curricula from around the world? How
do these succeed or fail to achieve the needs and possibilities of
the 21st century?
a. When should math be a separate topic, vs just-in time practice
embedded in other disciplines such as Robotics?
b. In reverse and for instance, should financial literacy be part of
c. When should we continue leading in formalism, vs transpose and
lead with examples and applications to guide students into formalism?
d. How do we inject skills (Creativity, Critical Thinking,
Communication, Collaboration) into math knowledge acquisition?
e. How do we inject Character attributes (perseverance, ethics etc)
into math knowledge acquisition?
f. Are computers offering a radically different approach that is
underexploited? What is the difference between computer-assisted and
Uniqueness compared to potentially similar global conversations:
. Specificity, timeliness, granularity, and action-orientation of
recommendations, and in particular what a 21st century Maths
curriculum should be
. Consequences for education agendas short/medium/long term. Setting
the stage for extensive 2013 global Math curriculum redesign program,
eventually including seminars for policymakers and educators.
. Factoring in technology's dislocative role to its full extent for
explicit linkage between technology progress and Math education
. Consequences on innovation agendas in general
SEE http://eventus.trippus.se/21stcenturymaths for conference details.
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244