Park City Mathematics Institute
International Seminar
Summer 2003 Overview


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Cameroon

Ecuador

Iran

Japan

New Zealand

Northern Ireland

Romania

USA
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PCMI International Seminar: Bridging Policy and Practice Summer, 2003

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 program. Over the long term, the function of this Seminar is 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 third week-long international workshop, "Bridging Policy and Practice: Mathematics Education Around the World" was held as part of the 2003 PCMI Summer Session. This seminar focused on mathematics teacher education continuing the discussion begun by the countries represented in the 2002 seminar. The topic 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
  • develop a sense of internationally shared purpose in the pursuit of quality mathematics education

The participants came as teams consisting of one mathematics education policy-maker and one practicing secondary mathematics teacher from each of eight countries (Cameroon, Ecuador, Iran, Japan, Northern Ireland, Romania, New Zealand, USA), many of whom participated in the 2001 and 2002 international seminars.

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Send questions or comments to: Suzanne Alejandre and Jim King