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The ICMI Emma Castelnuovo Award for Excellence in the Practice of Mathematics Education

Emma Castelnuovo AwardThe International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) is committed to the development of mathematical education at all levels and its aims are to promote the reflection, collaboration, exchange and dissemination of ideas on the teaching and learning of mathematics, from primary to university level. The work of ICMI stimulates the growth, synthesis, and dissemination of new knowledge (research) and of resources for instruction (curricular materials, pedagogical methods, uses of technology, etc.).

In order to reflect a main aspect of ICMI (as stated above) ICMI decided in 2013 to create an award to recognize outstanding achievements in the practice of mathematics education. This award is named after Emma Castelnuovo, an Italian mathematics educator born in 1913 to celebrate her 100th birthday and honour her pioneering work.

The Emma Castelnuovo award for outstanding achievements in the practice of mathematics education honours persons, groups, projects, institutions or organizations engaged in the development and implementation of exceptional and influential work in the practice of mathematics education, including: classroom teaching, curriculum development, instructional design (of materials or pedagogical models), teacher preparation programs and/or field projects with a shown influence on schools, districts, regions or countries. The Emma Castelnuovo award seeks to recognize and to encourage efforts and ideas and their successful implementation in the field, as well as to showcase models and exemplars of inspirational practices to learn from.

A possible list of criteria for selecting among candidates includes:

  • their educational rationale
  • the problems addressed
  • the conditions under which the work is taking place (cultural/political context, infrastructure, funding, people involved)
  • the originality/creativity involved to address problems and bypass obstacles
  • the extent of the influence of the work the quantitative and/or qualitative evidence of its influence the potential to serve as a role model (either for inspiring others addressing similar problems or because of having an approach which can be applied elsewhere with appropriate modifications)

This award consists of a medal and a certificate accompanied by a citation and will be awarded only once every four years (and not once every two years as it is the case with the other two awards). The award will be officially presented at the International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME) during the opening ceremony alongside the Klein and Freudenthal Awards. The awardee (or its representative in the case of an institution, project or organization) will be invited to present a special lecture at the Congress.

The Emma Castelnuovo Award Committee consists of six members (five members and a chair). These members are appointed by the President of ICMI, in confidential consultation with the ICMI Secretary General and the whole ICMI Executive Committee, and with other scholars in the field. The Castelnuovo Award Committee members should have recognized experience in the practice of mathematics education and/or a worldwide perspective on it. The members of the Castelnuovo Award Committee should be from five different countries and should represent at least three continents. At least two of the members should be from a developing or less affluent country. The Committee should also be balanced in terms of gender and age.

The Castelnuovo Award Committee functions in a similar way as the Felix Klein and Hans Freundenthal ICMI Awards Committee, but fully independent from it: the names of the active members, except for its chair, will be made publicly known only at the time when their terms as Committee members expire. The term of appointment of the AC-EC members is eight years and non-renewable, with three of the members being replaced each four years. However, for the first appointment of the Committee its six members were nominated up to 2016 only, and three of them (not including the chair) were renewed for other four years at the end of their first term.

The Castelnuovo Award Committee is completely autonomous. Its work and records is kept internal and confidential, except for the obvious process of soliciting advice and information from the professional community, which is done by the Committee chair.

Call for nominations for the 2020 ICMI Emma Castelnuovo Award

Deadline for Nominations: March 31, 2019.

The Emma Castelnuovo Award recognises outstanding achievements in the practice of mathematics education in order to reflect a main aspect of the ICMI ‘essence’ not yet recognized in the form of an award. The award was named after Emma Castelnuovo, an Italian mathematics educator born in 1913, in celebration of her 100th birthday and honoring her pioneer work. The first Emma Castelnuovo medal was awarded to Hugh Burkhardt and Malcolm Swan in 2016 during the 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME-13) in Hamburg, Germany.

The Emma Castelnuovo Award for outstanding achievements in the practice of mathematics education will honor persons, groups, projects, institutions or organizations engaged in the development and implementation of exceptionally excellent and influential work in the practice of mathematics education, such as: classroom teaching, curriculum development, instructional design (of materials or pedagogical models), teacher education programmes and/or field projects with a demonstrated influence on schools, districts, regions or countries. The Emma Castelnuovo Award seeks to recognise and to encourage efforts, ideas and their successful implementation in the field, as well as to showcase models and exemplars of inspirational practices to learn from.

The recipient of the award will be announced late in 2019 or early in 2020, and the award will be conferred at ICME-14 in July 2020 in Shanghai, China. The awardee (or its representative in the case of a group, institution, project, or organization) will be invited to present a special lecture at the Congress.

The Emma Castelnuovo Award Committee consists of a chair (Professor Konrad Krainer) nominated by the President of ICMI, and five other members who remain anonymous until their terms have come to an end. The six members come from six different countries, representing different continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America). The Committee is completely autonomous, its work and records will be kept internal and confidential, except for the obvious process of soliciting advice and information from the professional community, which is done by the Committee chair. The Committee is at this time entering the 2020 cycle of selecting awardees and welcomes nominations for the award from persons, groups, projects, institutions or organizations in the mathematics education community.

For information about the other ICMI awards and the names of past awardees, see https://www.mathunion.org/icmi/awards/icmi-awards

Nominees for the award will be evaluated in light of the following criteria:

  • the educational rationale for the candidate’s work and what served as a catalyst for that work;
  • the problems addressed by the candidate;
  • the candidate’s role in addressing the problems, whether they involve curriculum development, teacher education, professional development, design of instruction, or other areas of mathematics education practice;
  • the conditions under which the work has taken place (the cultural and political context, infrastructure, funding, and people involved);
  • the originality and creativity involved in how the candidate has addressed problems and overcome obstacles;
  • the quality of networking with other key stakeholders (e.g., bridging theory and practice); • external or internal evaluations of the work, if available;
  • the extent of the influence of the work on educational practice, including quantitative or qualitative evidence of that influence; and
  • the potential of the work to serve as a model (either for inspiring others addressing similar problems or because of taking an approach that could be applied elsewhere with appropriate modifications).

Nominations for the Emma Castelnuovo Award should include the following documents in English language (exceptions for 4. – see below):

  1. a document (max. 5 pages) describing the nominee’s programme and reasons for the nomination (including the nominee’s impact on the field);
  2. a one-page summary statement;
  3. an account of the genesis and dissemination of the nominee’s work and the roles of the people involved, with brief curricula vitae of the key persons (max. 10 pages);
  4. electronic copies of three publications that reflect the nominee’s work related to the practice of mathematics education (e.g., journal articles, textbooks, other instructional materials, or CD-ROMs); (if a publication is not written in English, an English translation of a key part – e.g. an abstract – and an independent statement on the publication’s quality written in English – e.g. a review – should be provided)
  5. three letters of support (from different stakeholders and, if possible, from different countries); and
  6. the names and e-mail coordinates of two persons who could provide further information, if needed.

All nominations must be sent by e-mail to the Chair of the Committee (konrad.krainer@aau.at) no later than March 31, 2019.

Konrad Krainer
Chair of the ICMI Emma Castelnuovo Award Committee
University of Klagenfurt,
Department of Instructional and School Development
Sterneckstraße 15
9010 Klagenfurt, Austria

Call for Nominations (pdf)

Call for Nominations short (pdf)