International Seminar in Mathematics Education 2013

PCMI International Seminar
Bridging Policy and Practice in Mathematics Education Around the World,
Summer, 2013

Different traditions and practices in mathematics education across the world offer valuable ways of thinking about what it means to teach and to learn mathematics. In particular, many current practices and pieces of research can be examined against other countries’ norms and policies as well as from the perspective and experience of different cultures, political systems, and economies. These reflections may inform not only individual countries' mathematics education programs but may serve to bring the international community closer to some common understandings.

Since 2001, the International Seminar on Mathematics Education has brought together a small group of international participants, selected for their key roles in policy and practice in mathematics education in their own countries. The primary goal of the Seminar is to establish an ongoing dialogue that examines, in practical and grounded terms, the interplay of policy and practice in diverse systems of primary and secondary mathematics education. Participants in the Seminar design and implement a series of reflections on common problems, along with suggestions for policy and practice and innovative offerings to share with the international community. The set of countries represented in the Seminar changes over time, with continuing attention to diversity and variety in educational challenges.

The weeklong International Seminar, "Bridging Policy and Practice in Mathematics Education Around the World" was held as part of the 2013 PCMI Summer Session. This seminar focused on the teaching and learning of transformations in geometry and implications for teacher preparation and development. The invited team participants consisted of one mathematics education/policy-maker and one practicing secondary mathematics teacher from each of eight countries (China, Finland, Honduras, Slovenia, South Africa, and the United States).

Discussions and presentations related to the general questions:

Where do transformations in geometry fit in your country's curriculum? Is there a role for geometry with transformations in your geometry curriculum?

In particular participants responded to the following:

  • What is the status of geometric transformations in the K-12 curriculum in your school?
  • What is the role of technology (both potential and how it is actually used in classrooms) in developing understanding of geometric transformations?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the statement that the concept of transformation can be a unifying concept in geometry? Explain.
  • How are prospective teachers prepared for teaching about geometric transformations in your country?

The participants worked together to establish consensus on various issues that emerged in the course of the discussions and, in working groups, produced three short policy briefs that present their collective views on

Participants’ Names from Photo Back Standing: Gail Burrill, Thomas (Tom) Dick, Yexin (Madeline) Tao, Maria Hernandez, Jobe Nhlanhla Sambo, Libni Berenice Castellón, Bogdan Kejzar, Johnny Lott, Abbi Stewart Bishop  Front Row Kneeling: Luis Soto, Shiqi Li, Leif Osterberg, Damjan Kobal, Vasuthavan (Nico) Govender, Ole Bjvorkqvist

Participants’ Names from Photo
Back Standing: Gail Burrill, Thomas (Tom) Dick, Yexin (Madeline) Tao, Maria Hernandez, Jobe Nhlanhla Sambo, Libni Berenice Castellón, Bogdan Kejzar, Johnny Lott, Abbi Stewart Bishop
Front Row Kneeling: Luis Soto, Shiqi Li, Leif Osterberg, Damjan Kobal, Vasuthavan (Nico) Govender, Ole Bjvorkqvist

2013 International Seminar Participant Directory (password protected)