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2009 ICMI Award Winners

The Felix Klein Medal: Gilah Leder

Citation for the 2009 ICMI Felix Klein Award to Professor Gilah C. Leder

2009-leder.jpgIt is with great pleasure that the ICMI Awards Committee hereby announces that the Felix Klein Medal for 2009 is given to IAS Distinguished Professor and Professor Emerita Gilah C. Leder, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia, in recognition of her more than thirty years of sustained, consistent, and outstanding lifetime achievements in mathematics education research and development. With a background as a highly recognised secondary teacher of mathematics, Gilah Leder moved, through a number of steps, into research in mathematics education, with a particular emphasis – from the very beginning of her research career - on gender success and equity in mathematics education, but also more broadly on students’ affects, attitudes, beliefs, and self-concepts in relation to mathematics education, at educational levels ranging from school to university. To a very high degree her work has contributed to shaping these areas and made a seminal impact on all subsequent research. Moreover, Gilah Leder has done significant work with regard to assessment in mathematics education, mathematically able students, research methodology, supervision of graduate students, and teacher education. A characteristic feature of Gilah Leder’s work – published in almost two hundred scholarly publications – is its application of perspectives and theories from sociology and psychology along with mathematical perspectives.

Gilah Leder’s achievements include a remarkable amount of work for national, regional, and international mathematics education communities in a leadership role, as well as a committee or board member, an editorial board member for several journals and book series, as a mentor and supervisor of graduate students, as a visiting scholar in several countries, and as an invited key note speaker at numerous conferences in all continents.

Gilah Leder’s first degree was a B.A. (Hons) in mathematics earned at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, (1963), where she also earned a Dip. Ed. (1965). She then moved to Monash University, Victoria, to do a M.Ed. (1973), and later on a Ph.D. (1979) on fear of success and sex differences in participation and performance in mathematics. Prior to that, she was a high school teacher in South Australia and Victoria (1963-1965), and then a research assistant, part time lecturer, and tutor at Monash University. She served as a Lecturer (1978-1982), a Senior Lecturer (1982-1987), and an Associate Professor of Education (1988-1993) at Monash University, before taking up, in 1994, a position as full Professor at the Graduate School of Education at La Trobe University, Victoria, where she remained until her retirement. During the years 2000-2007 she also served as Director of the Institute for Advanced Study and Director of Graduate Studies at La Trobe University. Having retired formally in 2007, Gilah Leder is currently an IAS Distinguished Professor and Professor Emerita at La Trobe, as well as an Adjunct Professor at Monash University.

Gilah Leder has received several honours and awards. She was President of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA), 1994-1998, of which she was awarded a Life Membership in 2002, President of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME), 1999-2001, and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), 1995-2002. In 2001 she was elected Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. She was a Guest Professor in Sweden 2002-2004. Her biography is included in Notable Women in Mathematics. Gilah Leder has had numerous editorial roles in first rank national and international journals and book series.

Another characteristic feature of Gilah Leder’s work is her close collaboration with other researchers in several countries. In particular she is renowned for her highly significant supervision and mentoring of young researchers. Thus she was named “Supervisor of the Year??? at Monash University in 1993 and supervisor of the “2002 Exemplary Doctoral Thesis??? at La Trobe University. She has supervised more than 60 research students, many of whom have earned international renown.

It is, of course, impossible to mention more than a few of Gilah Leder’s publications, many of which are highly recognised internationally. Suffice it to mention the following books that she has (co-)edited, Assessment and learning of mathematics (1992), Mathematics and gender (with Elizabeth Fennema) (1990), Beliefs: A hidden variable in mathematics? (with Erkki Pehkonen and Günter Törner) (2002), and Affect and mathematics education (with Peter Grootenboer), special issue of MERJ (2005). She is also the author of prominent state-of the-art chapters and papers in special issues of journals (including Educational Studies in Mathematics and ZDM) and handbooks (including Handbook on Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning).

In summary, Gilah C. Leder is an eminently worthy recipient of the Felix Klein Medal 2009.

The Hans Freudenthal Medal: Yves Chevallard

Citation for the 2009 ICMI Hans Freudenthal Award to Professor Yves Chevallard

2009-Chevallard.jpgIt is with great pleasure that the ICMI Awards Committee hereby announces that the Hans Freudenthal Medal for 2009 is given to Professor Yves Chevallard, IUFM d’Aix-Marseille, France, in recognition of his foundation and development over the last two and a half decades of a very original, fruitful and influential research programme in mathematics education. The first part of the programme, developed in the 1980s, was focused on the notion of didactical transposition of mathematical knowledge from outside school to inside the mathematics classroom, a transposition which also transforms the very nature of mathematical knowledge. This idea has been further developed, in the 1990s and beyond, into a more general study of the varying institutional characteristics and cultures within which mathematics is being practised in terms of different praxeologies (combining praxis and logos). This gave rise to the so-called anthropological theory of the didactic (ATD) which offers a tool for modelling and analysing a diversity of human activities in relation to mathematics. On that basis Yves Chevallard has developed an entirely new approach to teacher training focusing on the needs and problems of the profession operating in what he calls “clinics for training" which are also cumulatively establishing “archives for training".

It is a characteristic feature of Yves Chevallard’s work and impact that he continues to collaborate closely with colleagues in France and Spain and that his work has had a great impact internationally, and not the least so in Latin America. This is reflected in a large number of doctoral dissertations that have been written in various countries about, or within the framework of, his theory. International conferences on ATD have been held in 2005, 2007, and 2010, each of which has gathered about a hundred researchers from Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. In some countries, including Chile and Mexico, Yves Chevallard’s work also has exerted a direct influence on curriculum development and in-service teacher training.

Yves Chevallard graduated from l’Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (rue d’Ulm) in 1967 and earned agrégation in mathematics in 1970. After having taught mathematics at a lycée (high school) in Marseille, he moved - in 1972 – to Université d’Aix-Marseille II, first as an assistant and then, from 1986, as a 1st class maître de conférences (associate professor), working at the department of mathematics. With a background as a researcher in mathematical logic he turned his attention towards issues of mathematics education, greatly stimulated by the work of Guy Brousseau, whom he calls his mentor. During the years 1984-1991 Yves Chevallard was the Director of IREM d’Aix-Marseille (IREM: Institut de recherches sur l’enseignement des mathématiques). After having been declared qualified for directing research in 1990 Yves Chevallard was appointed full university professor in 1991 at the newly created IUFM d’Aix-Marseille (IUFM: Institut universitaire de formation des maîtres), and promoted to the 1st class in 1999, where he was also chair of the scientific and pedagogical council 1991-2006. He is still working at this institution.

Yves Chevallard has served on a number of posts in the academic community in general and in the community of researchers in mathematics education in particular, mainly in France. Thus he was a member of national council of universities in France (CNU) 1982-1990. He has been member of the administrative council of IUFM d’Aix-Marseille since 1991, and is currently a member of the joint laboratory council UMR ADEF which gathers researchers from three scientific institutions in France. Yves Chevallard founded and directed (1994-2000) the journal Skholê published at IUFM d’Aix-Marseille. He was the editor-in-chief of Recherches en didactique des mathématiques, 2000-2002 and currently is a member of its scientific committee as well as of the editorial committee of Éducation et didactique. He was also for a number of years a member of the scientific committee of the book series Raisons éducatives, published by the University of Geneva. He was responsible for the units of education and didactics and for initiation of research in mathematics education at the University of Provence 2007-09 and has been a visiting professor at universities in Germany and Spain.

La transposition didactique – du savoir savant au savoir enseigné (1985, extended edition in 1991, Spanish translation in 1997) is his internationally most well-known work. A joint book in Spanish with Marianna Bosch and Josep Gascón, Estudiar matemáticas. El eslabón perdido entre la enseñanza y el aprendizaje (1997) provides what Yves Chevallard calls “a midway summary" of ATD. Moreover, several of his more than a hundred publications in journals and anthologies have reached an international audience, even though the far majority of them are written in French.

In summary, Yves Chevallard, who continues to be very prolific in his academic work, is an eminently worthy recipient of the Hans Freudenthal Medal 2009.