Alan J. Bishop awarded 2015 Felix Klein Medal

announced 2015 Felix Klein Medal recipient

The International Commission on Mathematical Instructions (ICMI) today announced the recipient of the Felix Klein Medal for 2015. Alan J. Bishop, Emeritus Professor of Education at Monash University, Melbourne was awarded the medal in recognition of his more than forty-five years of sustained, consistent, and outstanding lifetime achievements in mathematics education research and scholarly development.

Alan’s early research on spatial abilities and visualization became transformed during a sabbatical leave in 1977 to Papua New Guinea where he began to think about the process of mathematical enculturation and how it is carried out in different countries. His subsequent book, Mathematical Enculturation: A Cultural Perspective on Mathematics Education, published in 1988, was ground-breaking in that it developed a new conception of mathematics – the notion of mathematics as a cultural product and the cultural values that mathematics embodies. Further evolution of this notion occurred as a result of his co-organizing a special day-long event during the 1988 Sixth International Congress on Mathematical Education devoted to “Mathematics, Education, and Society”, and which eventually led to successive conferences on the political and social dimensions of mathematics education. Alan Bishop has been instrumental in bringing the political, social, and cultural dimensions of mathematics education to the attention of the field.

Alan Bishop has also contributed substantially to the field by means of the extensive editorial work he has done. In the late 1970s, Hans Freudenthal, who had been the founding editor of Educational Studies in Mathematics, tapped Alan to be the second editor. Alan began his editorship of the journal with Volume 10 in 1979, ending it with Volume 20 in 1989. In 1980, he founded and became the series editor of Kluwer’s (now Springer’s) Mathematics Education Library, which currently contains 63 volumes. He was the chief editor of the International Handbook of Mathematics Education (1996) and the Second International Handbook of Mathematics Education (2003), and he continued as an editor for the Third International Handbook (2013). Through his tireless and scholarly work in the area of publication, Alan Bishop has enabled research in mathematics education to become an established field.

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