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Open Your View of Mathematics Education to a World View

In 1908, the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) was created "to foster efforts to improve worldwide the quality of mathematics teaching and learning, fulfil its mission through international programmes of activities and publications that promote reflection, collaboration, exchange and dissemination of ideas and information on all aspects of the theory and practice of contemporary mathematical education." A worthy mouthfull!

For many years, the ICMI has hosted conferences and published both newsletters and study resources consistent with its mission. However, most mathematics teachers are perhaps unaware of these resources or how to obtain them. Now, as of January in 2009, the ICMI announced that it will provide all of its documents online and for FREE. Based on this announcement, it seems that the decision is not currently retroactive relative to pre-2009 publications.

As a good example of the work of ICMI, consider reading through their One Hundred Years of L’Enseignement Math´ematique Moments of Mathematics Education in the Twentieth Century , which is the proceedings of the EM–ICMI Symposium held in Geneva (October 20-22, 2000). To better undersatnd the information available, consider these titles for sample conference sessions...most written by internationally-respected mathematics educators:

  • Geometry : 1950–70 (Basically a study of the history of the teaching of geometry)
  • Geometry — Year 2000 and after
  • Learning and teaching of analysis in the mid twentieth century : A semi-personal observation
  • Analysis 2000 : Challenge And Opportunities (by Lynn Steen)
  • Applications of mathematics "2000"
  • Stakes in mathematics education for the societies of today and tomorrow
  • Scientific solidarity today and tomorrow
Be forewarned that the flavor is international and perhaps overly academic at times...but give the articles a chance. Also, if you can read French, other articles are available.

This 336-page conference proceeding is the first to be put on-line for free access. By ICMI policy, others (past and future) will be added as well.

Also, browse through the other materials available on the ICMI website, which will include ICMI Bulletin, ICMI News, ICMI Study Volumes, and full sets of Discussion Documents.