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Jill Adler awarded Hans Freudenthal Medal for 2015

announced the recipient of the Hans Freudenthal Medal for 2015


The International Commission for Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) today announced the recipient of the Hans Freudenthal Medal for 2015. Professor Jill Adler, FRF Chair of Mathematics Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, was awarded the medal in recognition of her outstanding research program dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of mathematics in South Africa.

From her 1990s ground-breaking, sociocultural research on the inherent dilemmas of teaching mathematics in multilingual classrooms through to her subsequent focus on problems related to mathematical knowledge for teaching and mathematics teacher professional development. Jill’s research of multilingual classrooms during a period of change in South Africa puts into stark relief the tensions involved in teaching and learning mathematics in classrooms where the language of instruction is different from the language of teachers’ and students’ every-day lives.

In her 2001 book, Teaching Mathematics in Multilingual Classrooms, she displays the strong theoretical grounding that has served to advance the field’s understanding of the relationship between language and mathematics in the classroom. During the years from 1996 onward, Jill spearheaded several large-scale teacher development projects. The most recent one, begun in 2009, called the Wits Maths Connect Secondary project, aims to further develop mathematics teaching practice at the secondary level so as to enable more learners from disadvantaged communities to qualify for the study of mathematics-related courses at university.

This ongoing research and development project is a further testament to Jill’s unstinting efforts to face head-on the challenges of improving mathematics teaching in post-apartheid South Africa – efforts that have been recognized by several awards over the years, including the University of the Witwatersrand Vice Chancellor's Research Award for 2003, the FRF Chair of Mathematics Education in 2009,  the Gold Medal for Science in the Service of Society from the Academy of Science of South Africa in 2012,  and the Svend Pedersen Lecture Award in Mathematics Education from Stockholm University in 2015. For the inspiring, persistent, and scholarly leadership that Jill Adler has provided to the field of mathematics education research and practice in South Africa and beyond, she is truly deserving of the Hans Freudenthal medal for 2015.

More information can be found in the citation here.