********************************************************** [Note: I am sending this at the request of Ms. Gail Simmons, the Chief Organizer of Working Group for Action # 6: Adult and Lifelong Education in Mathematics. This WGA is one of 13 on the program of the Ninth International Congress on Mathematics Eucation to be held July 31-August 6, 2000 in Tokyo/Makurhari, Japan.
Please circulate this announcement widely. **********************************************************
ICME-9: Working Group for Action (WGA) 6: Adult and Life-long Education in Mathematics.
Call for Proposals
The 1996 UNESCO report Learning: The Treasure Within made the following observations.
"... education is at the heart of both personal and community development; its mission is to enable each of us, without exception, to develop all our talents to the full and to realize our creative potential, including responsibility for our own lives and achievement of our personal aims" (p. 19)
"... it seems to us that the concept of an education pursued throughout life, with all its advantages in terms of flexibility, diversity and availability at different times and in different places, should command wide support. There is a need to rethink and broaden the notion of lifelong education. Not only must it adapt to changes in the nature of work, but it must also constitute a continuous process of forming whole human beings - their knowledge and aptitudes, as well as the critical faculty and the ability to act. It should enable people to develop awareness of themselves and their environment and encourage them to play their social role and work and in the community" (p. 21)
"The concept of learning throughout life thus emerges as one of the keys to the twenty-first century. It goes beyond the traditional distinction between initial and continuing education. It meets the challenges posed by a rapidly changing world. ... The need [for people to return to education in order to deal with new situations in their personal and working lives] is even becoming stronger. The only way of satisfying it is for each individual to learn how to learn" (p. 22)
A forum such as ICME provides an excellent opportunity for international exchange of ideas as well as the solidarity and co-operation sought by bodies such as UNESCO. The concept of equity is crucial and respect must be accorded adult learners in terms of their cultural, linguistic, social, and other backgrounds; their voices must be heard. It should also be recognised that the concept of work encompasses not only paid work in the official labour market (full-time, part-time, or casual) but also that which takes place in the home and the community (paid and unpaid). Each of these are potential sites for life-long education as well as formal institutions. It follows from the above that social needs are no less important than economic.
The information received from the ICME-9 International Program Committee states: "A working group for action (WGA) could be defined as a group which is composed of those experts and general participants who are concerned with hot and controversial topics regarding the subject/theme of the WGA, and who intend to think together and work together in order to recognize the existing issues, and in order to search for resolutions or approaches to resolutions of them and thus wish to improve mathematics education in the relevant range." There will be three 120-minute sessions in the Congress, with the possibility of an extra 90 minute session. There will be a variety of means for the presentation and exchange of views.
Against this background, it becomes important for us to share - if not necessarily agree on - ideas about the mathematics education needs of adults returning to study. Indeed, it may well be appropriate to judge their needs in differing ways for differing purposes in differing contexts. This working group for action (WGA) has been placed on the ICME program following the successful 1996 WG on Adults Returning to Mathematics Education, in recognition of the growing importance of a complex field which spans all educational levels, and is likely to be linked with issues of class, gender and race.
Work is being undertaken in many countries to develop systematic and critical foundations for research into adult learners and life-long education specifically in relation to mathematics education. This research needs to be grounded in the work of those practising in the field, and this WGA welcomes the contributions of educators with experience of teaching mathematics to adults in any sector of education, whether on a formal or informal basis.
For a working group to function productively, it is important to facilitate genuine and fruitful exchange of opinion and development of ideas. Accordingly, it is intended that much of the business of the working group should be conducted in smaller groups, based around short presentations and discussions, and that the programme will be responsive to the proposals elicited by this call. In preparing the programme, we shall also attempt to maintain contact with other working groups and topic groups with intersecting interests.
We are calling for proposals for activities such as key-note lectures, panel discussions, or short presentations. A short presentation provides an opportunity for an individual or team to present relevant ideas and evidence to colleagues (for, say, 20 minutes) followed by questions and discussion. It will also be possible for Congress participants to present a paper prepared by themselves, subject to acceptance by the Organisers, but without making an oral presentation.
Proposals are invited by 31 January 2000, and we will respond to them by 31 March. The proposal should be in English and should list: (a) the style of presentation activity; (b) the title of the presentation; (c) the name(s), affiliation(s) and address(es) of the presenter(s); and (d) a 400-word (maximum) summary of the presentation.
Please send a copy to the Organisers at the addresses shown below. We will respond to proposals by the end of May. We are also willing to give informal advice to anyone preparing a proposal.
We look forward to hearing from interested mathematics teachers and researchers!
Delors, J. (Chair)..(1996). Learning: The treasure within. Paris: United Nations Scientific, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO).
Gail FitzSimons 34 The Boulevard Warrandyte Victoria 3113 AUSTRALIA Tel: + 613 9844 2902 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diana Coben School of Continuing Education University of Nottingham Nottingham NG7 2RD UK email: diana.coben@email@example.com
John O'Donoghue Department of Mathematics and Statistics University of Limerick Limerick IRELAND
34 The Boulevard Warrandyte Victoria 3113 AUSTRALIA
I can only access e-mail on Tuesdays - if the matter is urgent, please send a cc. to my husband, Paul at
Paul's fax: (613) 9637 8117
Home Phone: (613) 9844 2902
*************************************************** * Jerry P. Becker Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA Fax: (618)453-4244 Phone: (618)453-4241 (office) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org