Report on First Meeting of PCMI International Seminar Alumni
Attending the first meeting of the PCMI International Seminar at ICME-11 in Monterrey, Mexico were the following: Berinderjeet Kaur, and Kum Foo Fong, Singapore; Viviane Durand-Guerrier, France; Barry Kissane, Australia; Alan Downer, Mexico; Cristian Voica, Romania (and one of two supported by PCMI to attend); Gwendolyn Zimmerman, John Carter, Johnny Lott, and Gail Burrill, United States; Fayez Mina, Egypt; Zhara Gooya, Iran; Behiye Ubuz, Turkey; Chi Thanh Nguyen, Vietnam; John Mahoney and Henry Kepner, guests.
Not listed in the dinner function are the following:
Berinderjeet Kaur, Singapore: Dr. Kaur is now in charge of funding all research in mathematics education from the Singapore government.
Alan Downey, Mexico: Mr. Downey is currently a high school teacher in Mexico and has taught there for 20 years although originally from England.
Cristian Voica, Romania: Dr. Voica is currently writing textbooks in Romania using the Bologna Program.
Zhara Gooya, Iran: Dr. Gooya was quite concerned about the politics in Iran. She is a writer of national texts for Iran.
When asked about contributions that the PCMI International Seminar experience has made to them, the following comments were made:
Dr. Gooya, Iran: I learned about the "sameness" across countries though it may have different appearances across cultures. The seminar gave me confidence, helped me recognize similarities in teachers and students. She wished that we could have reflections without all the political elements. She learned that she had things to give as well as things that could be received.
Dr. Ubuz, Turkey: I did not understand the PCMI International Seminar before I arrived even though I was given information. It challenged me to be in a room with less than 20 people discussing issues. Everyone took everyone else seriously and we were challenged to produce a product, a brief, in a matter of a few days. I'm very interested in working on a book on reasoning and proof with other colleagues from the seminar.
Ms. Fong, Singapore: Talking with teachers in workshops and sharing the PCMI experience is very enriching. I now give lectures to undergraduates at night on what I saw in the United States. The integration of mathematics and other areas as well as the passion of the participants was an influence on me.
Dr. Voica, Romania: Seeing diverse countries and having diverse participants were the strong points of the PCMI International Seminar. It gave me the opportunity to think about mathematics content, methods of teaching and programs of study.
Dr. Kissane, Australia: Working closely together with colleagues from around the world and in an intensive situation allowed us to get to know each other as people and let us learn how each other thought. It was a tremendous learning experience.
Dr. Kaur, Singapore: By having a mathematics educator from a university paired with a teacher from the same country, we got to see two sides of the country. We got to hear practitioners and all gave us an enlightened view. Sharing materials is a major plus of the seminar.
Dr. Durand-Guerrier, France: The necessity of having to explain our country's educational system and having to answer questions about it caused us to question our own system for the first time. It made us learn our system better and to truly understand the problems of other countries.
Dr. Mina, Egypt: Listening to others made us realize the necessity of establishing a proficient set of teachers are major problems in Egypt that must be addressed.
PCMI International Seminar Dinner at Monterrey, Mexico at ICME-11
The following were at dinner with the Park City Mathematics Institute International Seminar at ICME-11 in Monterrey, Mexico:
- Kum Foo Fong, Singapore: Kum Foo has now been asked to come to the United States for a year to study and work and to return to Singapore to help her school. I put her in contact with Dr. Patrick Scott, State Department of Education in New Mexico, who was to contact her about the possibility of coming there for 2008-9.
- Toshi Ikeda, Japan, who is still at the same university but has become well known in international circles in mathematics education. He was active in the International Cooperation Discussion Group at ICME-11. A middle school teacher and one of Dr. Ikeda's graduate students accompanied him.
- Gwendolyn Zimmermann and her husband, Jim: Dr. Zimmermann has recently become department chair at Adlai Stevenson High School in the Chicago area, one of the more progressive schools in Illinois. She also is in charge of publications for the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics.
- John Carter: Dr. Carter is now an assistant principal of Adlai Stevenson High School, having been mathematics department chair when he attended the International Seminar. He is completing a term on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
- Maria Lozano, Mexico: Dr. Lozano is currently seeking a professorial position in Mexico having just completed a term as a researcher in Mexico City. She is a very bright star in the Central American mathematics education scene.
- Barry Kissane, Australia, and his partner Marian: Dr. Kissane is now Dean of Instruction at Murdoch University in Perth. An outstanding writer and researcher, his appointment as dean is no surprise though he continues to be involved in mathematics education.
- Henry Kepner, US: Dr. Kepner is the new President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and was a guest at the dinner.
- Chi Thanh Nguyen, Vietnam: Dr. Nguyen was invited to participate in ICME-11 as an official delegate of PCMI. He participated in and gave one of only six presentations in the International Cooperation Discussion Group.
- Viviane Durand-Guerrier, France: Dr. Durand-Guerrier was recently instrumental in developing a new masters program in mathematics education in France. Due to new political pressures, it is unclear about the implementation of the program.
- Bhiye Ubuz, Turkey: Dr. Ubuz is just beginning her career in mathematics education and is active in the Psychology of Mathematics Education world organization.
- Fayez Mina, Egypt, and his wife, Tariz: Dr. Mina with his writing partner, Dr. Jean Hanna, also a PCMI alumnus, was recently awarded the contract to write the national textbooks for grades 1-4 in mathematics.
- John Mahoney, US: Guest at the dinner and a high school teacher at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington, D.C., John is a staff member for the PCMI Secondary School Teachers Program.
- Gail Burrill, US: Ms. Burrill hosted the dinner for PCMI. Ms. Burrill gave talks in the technology group at ICME and had just attended the international statistics education conference.
- Johnny W. Lott, US, and his wife, Carolyn: Dr. Lott aided Ms. Burrill with the dinner. Dr. Lott recently accepted a position at the University of Mississippi as the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning as well as being named Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Education.