[ICMI-News] Resend ICMI NEWS 24 [ICMI News] ICMI News 24: July 2013

IMU Secretariat Lena Koch icmi.cdc.administrator at mathunion.org
Tue Jul 2 12:58:18 CEST 2013

Dear ICMI subscribers to ICMI News,

Due to technical problems we are resending the ICMI NEWS 24. Please accept our apologies.

You find the newsletter also on the ICMI website:


ICMI News 24: July 2013
A Newsletter from the ICMI-International Commission on Mathematical Instruction

3. FIRST ICMI EC (2013-2016) MEETING
4. ICME-13
9. CANP-3

Editors: Abraham Arcavi and Cheryl E. Praeger (Vicepresident)
Email addresses:
ICMI_Secretary-General at mathunion.org
Cheryl.praeger at uwa.edu.au
The new Executive Committee (EC), which started its term in January 1, 2013, is happy to continue the distribution of the ICMI NEWS via email, three times a year (July 1, November 1 and March1).

ICMI NEWS updates the worldwide mathematics education community on the work of the EC and announces and reports on ICMI and ICMI related activities and relevant news. For further detailed information about ICMI (e.g. its composition and mission, and its projects) we direct our readers to the website (www.mathunion.org/icmi) which is updated regularly.

Since these two channels of communication will cover all of ICMI's outreach needs, the EC decided to discontinue production of the printed ICMI Bulletin and its electronic version. The Bulletin has served the ICMI community well for many years, and its discontinuation is, in a way, a break with a cherished tradition with all its emotional entailments. However, modern communication technologies can take over all its functions in an efficient, quick and environmentally friendly way. The EC takes this opportunity to thank all   editors of the Bulletin and in particular Bernard Hodgson, former ICMI Secretary General, who painstakingly took care of editing and distributing the Bulletin in recent years. Past issues are available on the ICMI website.

Subscribers to this ICMI News are kindly invited to suggest to their colleagues the possibility to subscribe (through the websitehttp://www.mathunion.org/icmi/publications/icmi-news/), so that we increase its distribution.
The whole EC and in particular the present editors take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank Jaime Carvalho e Silva for initiating the ICMI NEWsletter and for editing it with care and dedication between December 2007-January 2013. Jaime continues to serve the ICMI community behind the scenes with wise advice and technical assistance (in particular as ICMI Webpage Editor).


Quoting from a booklet published by UNESCO in 2012 and almost entirely written by people from the ICMI community, especially past president Michèle Artigue: "the sole ambition of quality mathematics education for all cannot be reduced to the development of mathematical literacy. Mathematics education must also meet other needs. It must enable everyone to perceive the incredible human adventure inherent in the centuries-long development of mathematics in all continents, an adventure inseparable from the history of humanity."
I think that these sentences encapsulate the mission of ICMI, particularly in these years, when increasing globalisation of the economy, the universality of technological development and the related consequent needs for manpower skills, pose serious challenges to educators in mathematics. There are strong historical motivations for a reform that should bring unified standards for mathematics in school. We must avoid refusing such a reform for cultural reasons, and also be aware of the risks of cultural alienation and possible loss of the cultural richness found across the world.

What we need is a multiple cultural perspective, which allows taking into account:
- the existence of different epistemological positions concerning mathematics and its relevance in the culture;
- the possible distance of proposed curricular reforms from the mathematical culture of different countries;
- the relationships with the cultural and personal contributions brought by students in the classroom, so relevant to avoid students' alienation from their environment and to allow students to engage in learning in a productive way;
- the importance of anchoring professional development in teachers’ activities and practices.

ICMI programs have been concentrating more and more on such themes in the last decade and collaborations with IMU and other institutions, like ICSU and UNESCO, are now especially designed around these objectives: from the Klein project, to CANP events, to the Regional Conferences of ICMI in different parts of the world, to the ICMI studies (for example ICMI study 21 was about Mathematics Education and Language Diversity), to the ICME conferences. All assume a relevant role in developing an approach to mathematics teaching and learning that faces the dramatic duality between mathematics as a universal language and its specific features of enculturation (for more information see the ICMI Website:http://www.mathunion.org/icmi).

However, the efforts in this sense made by the Executive Committee are never enough: we need suggestions and contributions from all people interested in improving mathematics teaching and learning along the lines sketched above. Please send your proposals and suggestions to us and we will take care of them: it is our firm aim to design programs sensitive to cultural requirements as far as possible. For having a balance among them, it will be important for us to get hints from all the regions of the world, from developed as well as from developing countries.

A related important issue consists in understanding that this mission can be effectively and fully achieved only if our programs will develop with the participation of both mathematicians and mathematics educators. Otherwise the risk is to design plans that miss something essential. In fact, the collaboration between the two communities, specifically between IMU and ICMI today is as strong as ever and all the projects mentioned above are designed and developed in this spirit. Consequently my call for recommendations is not only addressed to mathematics educators but also to mathematicians interested in such challenging enterprises. I look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions.

Signed: Ferdinando Arzarello, President of ICMI
ICMI_President at mathunion.org


3. First ICMI EC (2013-2016) MEETING
The new Executive Committee (EC) met in Berlin in May 21-24, 2013. A main concern of the first meeting of the new EC was to ensure that ongoing programs carried out so diligently by the previous EC will go on smoothly alongside and consistently with the planning of the forthcoming events. The EC plans to meet once a year (working through email communications and Skype meeting in between). These meetings will take place in different parts of the world so that the hosting community of mathematics educators would have an opportunity to benefit from the visit of the EC members (via lectures, workshops, and the like by the EC members).


4. ICME-13
The organization of the ICME-13 to take place in Hamburg, Germany, in July 24-31, 2016, is underway. The first International Program Committee (IPC) meeting met near Hamburg (June 15-21, 2013) to decide on the main components of the scientific program and the invited scholars. Most components of the program from previous meetings will be preserved (some with some minor modifications) and a few new features were added. The IPC also visited the congress venue and its facilities. The work done by the Convenor, Gabriele Kaiser, by Marianne Nolte, the Chair of the Local Organizating Committee and their teams and by the IPC, as well as the impressive facilities, indicate that the congress will be very successful.

For more details, please consult the ICME-13 website periodically for updated information athttp://icme13.org/. ICME-13 is also in Facebook.


According to tradition, ICME-13 will allot two 90 minute slots for National Presentations.  This allows countries to showcase various aspects of their mathematics education: curricula, preparation of teachers, statistics, educational policies, mathematics education research and/or any other aspect to be decided by the presenters. The National Presentation can include lectures, active demonstrations, material displays and illustrative videos.
In the past, the International Program Committee (IPC) invited a small number of countries to these presentations. The IPC of ICME-13 decided to solicit statements of intent from countries interested in presenting their mathematics education systems. Such statements of intent should include:
- A brief proposal describing the intended activities and exhibitions.
- The name of the person responsible for that presentation.
- A strong commitment from the responsible person and/or two other persons to attend the conference and run the presentation.
- Statements (from the ICMI representative, prominent researchers, policy makers, educators, national associations and the like) in the proposing country, expressing their support and collaboration in order to plan and run the presentation.

Proposals for National Presentations from countries that did not present since ICME 9 will be considered.
National Travel and conference fees for the presenters and shipping fees for the materials needed for the presentation are the sole responsibility of the proposer and will not be reimbursed in part or in whole by neither by ICME-13 nor by ICMI. Further, please note that the exhibition is purely educational and commercial exhibits are to be excluded.

Letter of intent following the above guidelines should be submitted to the Convenor of ICME-13 [Gabriele.Kaiser at uni-hamburg.de] before November 15, 2013.

ICMI Study 21 on Mathematics Education and Language Diversity is in the last stages before publication.
ICMI Study 22 on Task Design in Mathematics Education is underway. The ICMI Study Conference will be held in Oxford, UK, on July 22-26. The proceedings of this conference are already available and can be accessed at
ICMI Study 23 was recently launched on the topic of Primary Mathematics Study on Whole Numbers. The Study co-chairs are
Mariolina Bartolini of the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Italy and Sun Xuhua of the University of Macau, China. The First meeting of the International Program Committee will take place in January 2014 in order to prepare the Discussion Document and the ICMI Study Conference.


The International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) will be held in Seoul, South Korea, August 13-21, 2014.  ICM offers a very generous program called NANUM 2014 to support 1000 mathematicians from developing countries to participate in the conference. The support grants are in the range of 1500-2500 U$. The deadline for applications is August 31, 2013. More details including instructions to apply can be found at
More details about ICM, and especially the slots devoted to mathematics education, will be published in the next issue of the ICMI News to appear on November 1, 2013.

The 4th Africa Regional Congress on Mathematics Education (AFRICME 4), was held in Maseru, Lesotho  (June 11-14). Nkosinathi Mpalami was the Chairperson of the Congress Steering Committee (for further details see,http://www.mathunion.org/fileadmin/ICMI/files/Conferences/ICMI_regional_conferences/Conferences_to_come/Annoucement_AFRICME13.pdf).
The meeting was attended by 53 participants from the USA, UK, France, South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Swaziland, Kenya, Uganda and Lesotho. Many of the participants were young researchers (doctoral students or recently graduated Ph.D.s). Michele Artigue and Jill Adler reported that the conference was very well organized, with a good scientific quality and a friendly atmosphere. The three plenary lecturers were John Mason, Mamokgethi Setati Phakeng, and Michèle Artigue.  The majority of contributions referred to teacher education and practices, with a strong emphasis on linguistic diversity. Ferdinando Arzarello, ICMI's president, greeted the participants via video conference.
AFRICME and other planned activities across Africa (e.g. the planned CANP meeting in Tanzania in 2014, the Espace Mathématique Francophone meeting in Algiers in 2015) constitute a major effort for enhancing mathematics education within the continent through supporting the creation of regional networks of practitioners and researchers.

9. CANP-3
The third Capacity and Network Project Programme (CANP) will be held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in October, 14-25, 2013. It will host about 40 participants from five countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam). Most participants will be educators of secondary school mathematics teachers, but it will also include mathematicians, teachers and government officials.
The event will consist mainly of workshops for the participants, with some public events and media opportunities. The meeting is  supported jointly by IMU and ICMI.

For more information, please contact the CANP-3 Program Manager Bill Barton,b.barton at auckland.ac.nz.


The next workshop of the Klein Project will be held in Berlin, Germany in September, 17-20, 2013, and will be co-organised by Hans-Georg Weigand, Universität Würzburg, Germany and Bill Barton, University of Auckland, New Zealand and hosted by the local organizing team: IMU Secretariat, Alexander Mielke, Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics (WIAS), Berlin and Lena Koch, IMU Secretariat Berlin. The workshop will take place in the headquarters of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) Secretariat, Markgrafenstr. 32, 10117 Berlin.  About 30 participants from 11 countries are expected and 25-50 secondary school teachers from Berlin and the region will attend on Thursday, September 19, 2013.
The workshop aims at fulfilling the Project's goals of bringing together mathematicians, mathematics educators and mathematics teachers to discuss the opportunities and constraints to enrich teacher education and mathematics classrooms with contemporary mathematics, and to imbue higher levels of education with the spirit of contemporary mathematics.  During the workshop existing Vignettes will be evaluated and more will be planned.  Results of the Workshop will be disseminated through the Blog and the Klein website, as well as through major international conferences in mathematics education. In particular, it will be a feature of the next ICME conference in Hamburg in 2016.

For more information, please contact Bill Barton atb.barton at auckland.ac.nz, and Hans Georg Weigand,
weigand at mathematik.uni-wuerzburg.de, or consult:http://www.mathunion.org/icmi/other-activities/klein-project/introduction/klein-workshop-berlin-2013/.

ICMI is launching a joint initiative with the International Mathematical Union (IMU) to build and maintain archives to containing existing and future records which may be of historical and practical interest for present and future generations. These archives would consist of primary source documents, photographs, recordings and more, that accumulate as the organization functions in its everyday life. IMU and ICMI decided to devote efforts to undertake archiving in the most professional manner in order to select, classify and organise the records. Also, efforts are invested in order to choose the most up-to-date technological infrastructure to store the records for easy and efficient access.
Some of the archives will remain secret for 70 years due to their sensitive contents (deliberations on the Awards Committees). The ICMI archive will be part of the IMU archive, which is located in the Berlin headquarters of both organisations. The curator of the IMU archive is Guillermo Curbera and the archivist is Birgit Seeliger. Bernard Hodgson was appointed as the curator of the ICMI archives and he already started to work on it. We are confident that, given Bernard's meticulous and responsible way of working and his passion for history, the resulting archives will become a wonderful resource at the service of the ICMI community. We wish Bernard, Guillermo and Birgit all the best in this endeavor.

We invite readers who may have documents or photographs relevant to past ICMI work to submit it directly to Bernard (Bernard.Hodgson at mat.ulaval.ca), who will gladly consider them for inclusion in the archives.


Occasionally, the ICMI News will call attention to ICMI related readings. This time we suggest the paper "People, Events and Documents of ICMI's First Century" by Fulvia Furinghetti and Livia Giacardi.
This paper was uploaded to the Digital Library of the ICMI website and can be found here:http://www.mathunion.org/icmi/digital-library/have-you-read/


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International Mathematical Union

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