PCMI International Seminar: Bridging Policy and Practice Summer, 2007
As technology brings the world closer together in business endeavors, information exchange, and cultural exchanges, it seems critical to include mathematics education in some form of international dialogue. Many traditions and practices in mathematics education in different countries have much to offer each other, and many current practices and visions of reform can be examined against a particular country's concepts and policies as well as from the perspective and experience of different cultures, political systems, and economies.
PCMI established the International Seminar on Mathematics Education as a fundamental component of its programming in 2001. Each year, the Seminar brings together a group of mathematics educators from a small set of countries to design and implement a series of reflections on common problems, along with suggestions for policy and practice and innovative offerings that are made available to the international community. The set of countries represented changes over time, with continuing attention to diversity and variety in educational challenges.
The fifth weeklong international workshop, "Bridging Policy and Practice: Mathematics Education Around the World" was held as part of the 2007 PCMI Summer Session. This seminar focused on the teaching and learning of mathematical reasoning and proof and the implications for teacher preparation and development. The participants came as teams consisting of one mathematics education/policy-maker and one practicing secondary mathematics teacher from each of eight countries (Australia, Columbia, Mexico, Namibia, the Netherlands, Turkey, United States, and Vietnam).
Discussions and presentations related to
- How can reasoning and proof be integrated into the secondary school curriculum?
- What does this mean for the mathematical content knowledge of teachers?
In particular participants responded to the questions:
- What does reasoning and proof mean in your country, when do students learn it, and when do concepts become formalized?
- How has/should/could technology affect what and how we teach about reasoning and proof?
- Has the vision of reasoning and proof changed in your country from the past? If the vision has changed, how has it changed?
- What mathematical content and didactical knowledge do teachers need to teach reasoning and proof and how are they prepared to do so in your country?
- What research findings are or would be helpful in teaching reasoning and proof in your country?
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. They produced three short policy briefs that present their collective views on
- The Nature and Role of Reasoning and Proof,
- Conditions for the Effective Teaching and Learning of Reasoning and Proof, and
- Assessment of Reasoning and Proof.
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 2007 PCMI International Seminar.
2007 PCMI International Seminar Participant Directory (password protected)