Park City Mathematics Institute
International Seminar
Summer 2002 Overview

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BrazilEgyptFranceIndiaJapanKenyaSwedenUSA
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PCMI International Seminar: Bridging Policy and Practice Summer, 2002

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 different countries have much to offer each other, 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. The set of countries represented will be expanded over time, with continuing attention to diversity and variety in educational challenges.

The second week-long international workshop, "Bridging Policy and Practice: Mathematics Education Around the World" was held as part of the 2002 PCMI Summer Session. This seminar focused on discussing mathematics teacher education, which was the topic selected by the countries that participated in the 2001 seminar who returned for the 2002 seminar. Mathematics teacher education was addressed from the perspective of practicing teachers and those involved in education research or policy. The goals of the seminar were to

  • deepen the personal contact with policy makers and teachers from the selected countries, representing diverse educational systems and cultures
  • examine the preparation and development of teachers with respect to both mathematical content knowledge and how to teach that content from the perspective of the different countries
  • continue to develop a sense of internationally shared purpose in the pursuit of quality mathematics education

The participants again 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), many of whom returned for the second year. Proceedings are available on the PCMI@MathForum website at http://mathforum.org/pcmi/int2002report/.

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Send questions or comments to: Suzanne Alejandre and Jim King