PCMI International Seminar: Bridging Policy and Practice
Missing from the current discourse on mathematics education is an insightful examination of educational systems around the world from the perspective of what actually works in teaching mathematics. Many traditions and practices in mathematics education in other countries have much to offer, and there are many current practices and visions of reform against which a particular country's concepts and policies must be critically examined.
PCMI has established the International Seminar on Mathematics Education as a fundamental component of its programming. Over the long term, the function of this Seminar will be to design and implement a series of reflections on common problems, along with suggestions for policy and practice and innovative offerings that will be made available to the international community. Planning calls for the set of countries represented to be expanded over time, with continuing attention to diversity and variety in educational challenges.
The first week-long international workshop, "Bridging Policy and Practice: Mathematics Education Around the World" was held as part of the 2001 PCMI Summer Session. This seminar focused on discussing systems of mathematics education from a diverse selection of countries through the eyes of practicing teachers and those involved in education research or policy. The goals of the first international seminar were to
The participants came as teams consisting of one mathematics education policy-maker and one practicing secondary mathematics teacher from each of eight countries (Brazil, Egypt, France, India, Japan, Kenya, Sweden, USA). The program proposed discussion of each of the following issues:
Each day's deliberations were followed by reflections from Hyman Bass and Hiroshi Fujita, respectively the current president and the recent past president of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI). Proceedings are available on the PCMI@MathForum website at http://mathforum.org/pcmi/int2001report/.
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