The International Commission on Mathematical Instruction
Bulletin No. 47 
December 1999

One Hundred Years of L'Enseignement Mathématique

Announcement of a Symposium

The well-known international journal L'Enseignement Mathématique was established in 1899 by Henri Fehr and Charles Laisant.  The idea of internationalism in mathematics education, crucial to the journal right from its beginning, led a few years later to the creation of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction during the 1908 International Congress of Mathematicians in Rome.  L?Enseignement Mathématique has been the official organ of ICMI ever since that time.  During these one hundred years, mathematics education has undergone profound changes marked by decisive developments in the evolution of mathematics and in the organization and structure of the school systems throughout the world.

On the occasion of the centennial of the journal, it was felt appropriate to hold a symposium with the aims of looking at the evolution of mathematics education over the last century and identifying some guidelines and trends for the future, taking into account, among other sources, the documents, debates and related papers having appeared in L?Enseignement Mathématique. The emphasis of the symposium is on secondary education (students in the age range of about 12 to 18 or 19 years).  In addition to proposing a reflection on the history of mathematics education and the evolution of mathematics and its teaching and learning in the 20th century, the symposium also gives the opportunity of a gathering of some of the main actors, during the last decades, in mathematics education as considered from an international perspective.  The symposium should thus be seen as an international meeting of all those interested in mathematics education and its evolution.

Organized jointly by ICMI and the University of Geneva as a contribution to the celebration of the World Mathematical Year 2000, this symposium will take place in Geneva, the home of the journal since its birth, from Friday October 20 to Sunday October 22, 2000.  The theme of the meeting is

One Hundred Years of L'Enseignement Mathématique :
Moments of Mathematics Education in the 20th Century

The program of the symposium is based on a series of invited talks. Among the themes are: issues in mathematics education at the time the journal was born; evolutions and permanences in the needs, practices and issues in the teaching of geometry, analysis and applications of mathematics over the last century; stakes in mathematics education yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Ample time will be devoted during the symposium to collective discussions on the themes presented in the talks.  More information about the program can be obtained on the ICMI website:

The members of the Program Committee of this symposium are Daniel Coray (Switzerland), Fulvia Furinghetti (Italy), Hélène Gispert (France), Bernard R. Hodgson (Canada) and Gert Schubring (Germany).

The philosophy of discussions and personal exchanges underlying this symposium imposes a limitation on the numbers of participants.  People interested in the symposium are thus requested to contact the Local Organizing Committee at the address below as soon as possible, preferably prior to July 15.  Participants are expected to stay for the three days of the meeting (starting on Friday morning and ending on Sunday at noon).  There will be no registration fee, but very little financial support is available.  Hence foreign participants are expected to cover their travel and local expenses by themselves or through their home institution.

Information about local facilities (hotels, etc.) can be obtained from the Local Organizing Committee.

                                        Local Organizing Committee
                                        Symposium EM-ICMI
                                        Case postale 240
                                        CH-1211 Genève 24, Suisse
                                        e-mail:  EM-ICMI <>