PCMI International Seminar: Bridging Policy and Practice Summer, 2006
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 and preparing teachers to teach 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 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 fifth week-long international workshop, "Bridging Policy and Practice: Mathematics Education Around the World" was held as part of the 2006 PCMI Summer Session. This seminar focused on mathematics teacher education with a strong emphasis on preparing teachers to promote mathematical problem solving, reasoning, and proof. The participants came as teams consisting of one mathematics education policy-maker and one practicing secondary mathematics teacher from each of nine countries (Cameroon, France, Germany, Mexico, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore, Uganda, and USA).
Presentations and discussions that took place in the work sessions related to:
Specific questions that framed the activities of the work sessions were:
The participants worked together to establish consensus on various issues that emerged in the course of the discussions, and formed working groups to further explore these issues. One product of these efforts is a document that presents the participants views and recommendations in relation to these topics.
Participants from previous seminars had the opportunity to review these documents and their comments contributed to the final version that is posted as the official record of the 2006 PCMI International Seminar. This document is available on the PCMI@MathForum website at http://mathforum.org/pcmi/PCMI2006IntSeminar.pdf
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