[ICMI-News] ICMI News 6: Ocotber 2008

J Carvalho e Silva jaimecs at mat.uc.pt
Mon Nov 3 02:14:21 CET 2008

ICMI News 6: October 2008

A Bimonthly Email Newsletter from the 
ICMI-International Commission on Mathematical 
Editor: Jaime Carvalho e Silva, Dep. Matematica, 
Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal


1. Editorial: About the ICMI Studies --- and a Call For Proposals
2. Symposium Celebrating the Centennial of the ICMI
3. Proceedings of the Symposium Celebrating the Centennial of the ICMI
4. ICTMA 14
5. New e-journal: Educational Designer
6. Calendar of Events of Interest to the ICMI Community
7. Subscribing to ICMI News


1.  Editorial: About the ICMI Studies --- and a Call For Proposals

Among the various activities organised or 
supported by the International Commission on 
Mathematical Instruction, the ICMI Studies 
programme stands out as a particularly 
interesting component that has acquired over the 
years a growing importance and influence on the 

The very first ICMI Study Conference was held in 
Strasbourg in March 1985, but its origin goes 
back to a few years earlier.  Geoffrey Howson, 
ICMI Secretary[-General] from 1983 to 1990, has 
indicated that the idea of "ICMI Studies" 
developed from conversations that he had in the 
early 1980s with Bent Christiansen, then ICMI 
Vice-President since 1975.  In his personal 
overview after his two terms as ICMI President 
(see ICMI Bulletin no. 29, December 1990, p. 3), 
Jean-Pierre Kahane refers to a meeting that he 
had in Orsay at the end of 1982, just prior to 
the beginning of his presidency, with both Howson 
and Christiansen --- then respectively incoming 
ICMI Secretary[-General] and continuing VP ---, 
as well as with Ed Jacobsen, from UNESCO.  As 
stated by Kahane himself, a large part of the 
ICMI activities for the following years was 
planned during this meeting, including the 
project of ICMI Studies as well as the themes of 
the first four Studies.  In his first "Message 
from the President" (ICMI Bulletin no. 13, 
February 1983, pp. 1-2), Kahane mentions these 
four themes as "key problems" that ICMI is facing 
in its aim of "further[ing] mathematics 
education", but insisting that the objective is 
not to "seek an 'ICMI approved' solution" to 
these problems, but rather "to create conditions 
for exchange of views and information, and a 
structure for cooperation and extended 
communication".  Still Kahane in this first 
message does not mention the programme of Studies 
where these problems will be addressed, and it is 
in a report from the Executive Committee 
appearing in the following issue of the Bulletin 
(No. 14, October 1983, pp. 5-8) --- thus exactly 
25 years ago! --- that Geoffrey Howson explicitly 
refers publicly to the "four studies which ICMI 
is hoping to undertake". 

Since then, the ICMI Studies have regularly taken 
place at the rhythm of more or less one Study 
Conference per year.   The variety of the themes 
covered in these Studies is rather impressive (I 
am providing here shortened wordings of the 
topics, with the year of the Study Conference --- 
the full versions of the themes are accessible on 
the ICMI website):

1-) Influence of Computers and Informatics 
(1985); 2-) School Mathematics (1986); 3-) 
Service Subject (1987); 4-) Mathematics and 
Cognition (no Study Conference); 5-) 
Popularisation (1989); 6-) Assessment (1991); 7-) 
Gender (1993); 8-) Research (1994); 9-) Geometry 
(1995); 10-) History (1998); 11-) University 
Mathematics (1998); 12-) Algebra (2001); 13-) 
East/West Math Education (2002); 14-) 
Applications and Modelling (2004); 15-) Teacher 
Education (2005); 16-) Challenges in and Beyond 
the Classroom (2006); 17-) Technology (Revisited) 
(2006); 18-) Statistics (2008); 19-) Proof and 
Proving (2009); 20-) Mathematics and Industry 
(2010); 21-) Multilingual Contexts (2010).

Besides the natural collaboration with the 
International Mathematical Union, it is of 
interest to note that two ICMI Studies have been 
organised in collaboration with other 
institutions, namely with the International 
Association for Statistical Education (IASE --- 
Study 18) and with the International Council for 
Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ICIAM --- 
Study 20).  The ICMI Executive Committee is 
really enthusiastic at the possibilities offered 
by such collaborations.

The following criteria have been developed by the 
ICMI EC to guide the selection and setting up of 
a Study.  An ICMI Study needs
--  to tackle a substantive problem in and for the field
--  to be able to benefit from an international perspective and engagement
--  to be an arena for productive interaction 
between mathematics educators, teachers, 
mathematicians, curriculum specialists, i.e. 
various agents in the field of mathematics 
--  to be able to build on what has already been 
substantial growth over some time in the field, 
and so on collective wisdom (with respect to both 
research and practice)
--  to be considered as significant, thus calling 
for an intellectual higher authority and voice on 
the problem
--  to provide possibilities for pro-active outcomes.

The ICMI EC wants the Studies to serve all those 
who, having professional interest in mathematics 
education, belong to our community.  This means 
that an ICMI Study should not only or primarily 
aim at serving educational researchers, but has 
to provide a wider audience access to the 
reflections, experiences and research developed 
around a given theme, as well as point to its 
usefulness.  In other words, the finality of an 
ICMI Study, in the spirit of the ICMI EC, is not 
to produce still another handbook of research in 
mathematics education, nor a collection of 
brilliant but personal papers.  An ICMI Study is 
a collective work where the expertise of 
individuals is put at the service of a community. 
This implies a reflective and critical position, 
with specific attention to the language used so 
to ensure accessibility.  The EC also wishes each 
ICMI Study to be a source of inspiration for 
educational action through the presentation and 
careful analysis of insightful examples, paying 
attention to the diversity of educational 
contexts and cultures and to the diversity of 
social and economic conditions, while allowing 
those voices not necessarily easily heard to be 

The current ICMI EC is contemplating launching 
the 22nd ICMI Study before the end of its term in 
December 2009 --- or least providing the incoming 
EC with a potential theme.  We have been building 
over the years a list of possible subjects, which 
include topics such as: Connection of mathematics 
and other discipline (from primary to 
university); Primary school math education; 
History of mathematics education; or Designing 
and using tasks for pedagogic purposes.  But we 
feel the need to revamp and enlarge such a list.

The present editorial is thus A CALL FOR 
These suggestions should be made taking into 
account that a Study must focus on a topic or 
issue of prominent current interest in 
mathematics education. 

We have in mind typically adhering to the current 
organisational scheme for ICMI Studies, namely
--  after having selected a theme of a new Study, 
the ICMI EC appoints an International Programme 
Committee whose first task is to produce a 
Discussion Document in which a number of key 
issues and sub-themes related to the theme of the 
Study are identified and described in a 
preliminary manner and a call for contributions 
is made;
--  on the basis of the submissions received, an 
international Study Conference is organised, 
constituting a working forum that investigates 
the theme of the Study;
--  and finally a Study Volume is prepared, 
presenting a state-of-the-art expert report on 
the Study theme.
While we have experienced and do appreciate the 
merit of this model, we are also open to 
suggestions about other possible organisational 

The ICMI Studies are an essential component of 
the ICMI activities.  Comments about the ICMI 
Studies programme are most welcome and can be 
made to any member of the ICMI Executive 
Committee, including myself.  To be useful to the 
reflections of the current EC, your input should 
reach us no later than early 2009.

Bernard R. Hodgson, Secretary-General of ICMI, bhodgson at mat.ulaval.ca


2.  Symposium Celebrating the Centennial of the ICMI

Symposium Celebrating the Centennial of the ICMI 
(International Commission on Mathematical 
Instruction) - Rome 5-8 March 2008

In 1908, during the fourth International Congress 
of Mathematicians, which took place in Rome from 
6 to 11 April, was created the International 
Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics 
(Commissione Internazionale per l'insegnamento 
matematico, Commission Internationale de 
l'Enseignement Mathématique, Internationale 
Mathematische Unterrichtskommission). The first 
to formulate a proposal for the institution of an 
organisation of this type was David Eugene Smith, 
a professor at Teachers College of New York, who 
was profoundly interested in education and in the 
history of mathematics.  The first president was 
Felix Klein, eminent mathematician and promoter 
of significant reforms in the teaching of 
mathematics in Germany. Klein was an unflagging 
and enthusiastic promoter of the commission 
during its early period.
The initial goal of the commission was that to 
"promote an inquiry and publish a general report 
on current trends in secondary teaching of 
mathematics in the various countries".  From that 
time, the Commission, which since 1954 has been 
known as the "International Commission on 
Mathematical Instruction" (ICMI), has gone 
through successive periods of more or less 
intense activity (connected with the dramatic 
events of the first half of the twentieth 
century) before arriving to the end of the 1960s, 
when it experienced a veritable renaissance based 
on new aims and work methodologies. In the last 
quarter of a century its activities and the lines 
of research have broadened and diversified, and 
have contributed to the construction of a new 
discipline, research in the teaching of 
To celebrate the Centennial of the founding of 
the ICMI, an international symposium, entitled 
"The First Century of the International 
Commission on Mathematical Instruction: 
Reflecting and Shaping the World of Mathematics 
Education", was held in Rome, 5-8 March 2008 
(http://www.unige.ch/math/EnsMath/Rome2008/). The 
International Programme Committee (IPC), was 
composed of sixteen members, with Ferdinando 
Arzarello as its president, while Marta Menghini 
represented the Organising Committee within the 
IPC. Palazzo Corsini, home of the Accademia 
Nazionale dei Lincei, and Palazzo Mattei di 
Paganica, home of the Enciclopedia Italiana, were 
the splendid venues for the symposium.
Taking as a point of departure the themes 
connected to ICMI activities over the course of 
its hundred year history (reforms in teaching of 
the sciences, teacher education, relationships 
between mathematicians and researchers in 
mathematics education, etc.), the symposium 
sought to identify the future directions of 
research in didactics and possible initiatives 
for improving the level of mathematics culture in 
the various countries.
The symposium was subdivided into ten plenary 
talks, eight talks in parallel, five working 
groups. and an afternoon reserved for Italian 
teachers, with lectures by scholars from Italy 
and abroad, see Menghini et al., 2008; Symposium 
Š, 2008). The activities of the "Italian 
afternoon" were broadcast via videoconference to 
fifty schools throughout Italy.
The talks dealt with a wide variety of topics: 
the origins of the ICMI and the roles played by 
Klein and Smith; ICMI's renaissance at the end of 
the 1960s and the emergence of a new field of 
research; the dialectic between rigour and 
intuition in the teaching of mathematics; the 
relationships between pure and applied 
mathematics and the emphasis that should be given 
to modelling in teaching and learning of the 
mathematics; the interactions between research 
and practice; the relationship between centres 
and peripheries of the world; teacher training; 
the relationships between mathematics and 
teaching of mathematics and between mathematics 
education and technology, society, and other 
Some 200 participants from 43 countries the world 
over took part in the congress. The symposium 
ended with an excursion which, like a hundred 
years ago, took participants to visit the Villa 
d'Este at Tivoli and Hadrian's Villa, both rich 
in historical grandeur.
The website on the history of ICMI
On the occasion of the congress a website 
dedicated to the history of ICMI was created 
under the direction of Fulvia Furinghetti and 
Livia Giacardi 
(http://www.icmihistory.unito.it/). It delineates 
the most significant events and key figures of 
the life of ICMI through documents, images and 
interviews. The site is divided into six 
sections: Timeline; Portrait Gallery; Documents; 
The Affiliated Study Groups; The International 
Congresses on Mathematical Education; Interviews 
and Film Clips. The section Timeline marks the 
most important moments in the history of the 
ICMI, with each fact documented with references 
to the original sources. The Portrait Gallery 
contains biographic cameos of those who have 
passed away, with the aim of making evident their 
roles within the ICMI, their contributions to the 
study of problems inherent in mathematics 
teaching, and their publications that are 
expressly dedicated to mathematics teaching. The 
sections of the Affiliated Study Groups contains 
the short history of these groups, with 
particular reference to the motivations and the 
circumstances that fostered their creation. The 
section International Congresses on Mathematical 
Education gathers the main information about the 
congresses since the beginning (1969). Some 
important witnesses of the most recent events in 
the life of ICMI were interviewed. The videotapes 
of the interviews are available in the section 
Interviews and Film Clips.

Menghini, M., Furinghetti, F., Giacardi, L., & 
Arzarello, F. (Eds.) (2008). The first century of 
the International Commission on Mathematical 
Instruction (1908-2008). Reflecting and shaping 
the world of mathematics education, Rome: 
Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana.
Symposium for the Rome 08 ICMI Centennial (2008). Progetto Alice, 9(25).

Permanent website of the Symposium:

Ferdinando Arzarello, Fulvia Furinghetti, Livia Giacardi, Marta Menghini

3. Proceedings of the Symposium Celebrating the Centennial of the ICMI


The First Century of the International Commission 
on Mathematical Instruction (1908-2008).
Reflecting and Shaping the World of Mathematics Education

Edited by
M. Menghini, F. Furinghetti, L. Giacardi, F. Arzarello

HYMAN BASS, Moments of the life of ICMI
JEREMY KILPATRICK, The development of mathematics 
education as an academic field - Reaction by JEAN 
rigor in mathematics education - Reaction by ALDO 
MOGENS NISS, Perspectives on the balance between 
application & modelling and "pure" mathematics in 
the teaching and learning of mathematics - 
Reaction by TOSHI IKEDA
JO BOALER, The relationship between research and 
practice in mathematics education: International 
examples of good practice - Reaction by JOAO DA 
GERT SCHUBRING, The origins and early incarnations of ICMI
emergence of new issues in mathematics education
BIENVENIDO NEBRES, Centres and peripheries in 
mathematics education - Reaction by GELSA KNIJNIK
Panel on ICMI's challenges and future:  MORTEN BLOMHØJ; MAMOKGETHI SETATI
MICHÈLE ARTIGUE, ICMI: One century at the 
interface between mathematics and mathematics 
education - Reflections and perspectives
BERNARD R. HODGSON, Some views on ICMI at the dawn of its second century

Short Talks (Coordinators Alan Bishop and Lee Peng Yee)
EILEEN F. DONOGHUE - The inception of ICMI: David 
Eugene Smith and the founding of ICTM; ALAN 
BISHOP - The past four decades: consolidation and 
diversification; DEREK HOLTON -  The process of 
an ICMI Study: The teaching and learning of 
mathematics at university level; FREDERICK K.S. 
LEUNG - The significance of the ICMI Study on 
mathematics education in East Asia and the West; 
UBIRATAN D'AMBROSIO - ICMI and its influence in 
Latin America; JILL ADLER - The development of 
AFRICME; CLAUDI ALSINA - What is the impact of 
hosting an ICME for the organizing country? - The 
case of ICME8 in Spain; LIM-TEO SUAT KHOH - ICMI 
Activities in East and Southeast Asia:  Thirty 
years of academic discourse and deliberations

Working Groups - Reports
mathematics and school mathematics; DEBORAH BALL 
& BARBRO GREVHOLM: The professional formation of 
Mathematics education and society; MARCELO BORBA 
technology throughout the history of ICMI; GILAH 
LEDER & LUIS RADFORD: Mathematics education: An 
ICMI perspective. 

The proceedings of the Symposium held on the 
occasion of the Centennial of ICMI in Rome, from 
March 5th to March 8th, 2008, are now being 
The price of the volume comes to 60 Euros (about 
90 USD) shipping fees included.

Participants of ICME's and of conferences of the 
affiliated groups of ICMI, in the period 2004 - 
2008, may enjoy a special 33 % reduction.

To receive the volume, we ask that you send in the following request:

I would like to receive a copy of the volume:

The First Century of the International Commission 
on Mathematical Instruction (1908-2008).
Reflecting and Shaping the World of Mathematics Education

o	at the price of 40 Euros, shipping and 
handling included; I was a participant of 
the period 2004 - 2008
o	at the price of 60 Euros, shipping and handling included

Please send the volume to the following address:

I will be paying by:
o	Credit Card
Amount to Charge:			           Type of Card: __
Name on Card: __				Card Number:  __
Expiration Date: __				Signature:
Bank transfer (please send a copy) to:   Istituto 
della Enciclopedia Italiana     
	IBAN   IT48 L010 0503 2060 0000 0007 699

The request may be sent to
By Mail:		Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana
			Ufficio Vendita Diretta
			Piazza della Enciclopedia Italiana, 4
			I - 00186 Roma (Italia)

By Email:  		venditadiretta at treccani.it

By fax:		+39 06 68982294

For all other infomation, please use the above addresses.
The request form is also available at the Symposium's website:


4. ICTMA 14

Second Announcement  --  Call for papers

The International Community of Teachers of 
Mathematical Modelling and Applications (ICTMA) 
invites you to participate in the 14th 
International Conference on the Teaching of 
Mathematical Modelling and Applications (ICTMA14).

The conference will take place at the University 
of Hamburg in Germany and is scheduled from 
Monday, 27th July to Friday, 31st July 2009.

Invited are experts in the field as well as young 
researchers interested in research on the 
teaching of applications and modelling in all 
areas of mathematics education - primary through 
secondary schools, as well as colleges and 

Organising Committee: Professor Gabriele Kaiser 
(Chair, University of Hamburg, Department of 
Education),  Dr. Rita Borromeo Ferri (Co-chair, 
University of Hamburg, Department of Education), 
Working group on Mathematics Education at the 
University of Hamburg, Department of Education

Outline of the Conference Programme

Aim of the conference:  The aim of the conference 
is to provide a forum for the presentation and 
exchange of information, experiences, and ideas 
relating to the teaching, learning and assessment 
of mathematical modelling, mathematical models 
and applications of mathematics at primary, 
secondary and tertiary level.

The following issues will be tackled by a variety of activities:

     * Pedagogical issues, such as the 
understanding of modelling, promotion of 
modelling competencies, cognitive aspects;
     * Assessment of modelling activities in school and universities;
     * Connections to industrial or commercial 
practice, mathematics at the workplace;
     * Influences of technology;
     * Cross-cultural aspects and international studies

Conference programme:  The conference programme will include

     * Plenary lectures followed by reactions of invited experts in the field
     * Paper presentations by conference participants in parallel sessions
     * Panel discussion by invited experts on 
modelling perspectives around the world
Plenary lectures and reacting experts:

Werner Blum (University of Kassel, Germany)
Can Modelling be Taught and Learnt? Some Answers from Empirical Research.
Reactor: Marcelo de Carvalho Borba (State 
University of Sao Paulo at Rio Claro,  Brazil)

Gloria Stillman (Melbourne University, Australia)
Applying Metacognitive Knowledge and Strategies 
in Applications and Mathematical Modelling Tasks 
at Secondary School
Reactor: Rita Borromeo Ferri (University of Hamburg, Germany)

Helmut Neunzert (Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Techno- 
und Wirtschaftsmathematik (ITWM), Kaiserslautern, 
Mathematical Modelling and a New Role for Mathematics as Key Technology
Reactor: Jens Struckmeier (University of Hamburg, 
Germany) - Subject to confirmation

Richard Lesh (Indiana University, USA ), Helen Doerr (Syracuse University, USA)
Models and Modelling: Perspectives on Teaching 
and Learning Mathematics for the 21st Century

Chris Haines (City University London, Great Britain)
Drivers for Mathematical Modelling: Pragmatism in Practice
Reactor: Katja Maaß (Educational University Freiburg, Germany)

Panel discussion:

Theme: Modelling perspectives around the world - State-of-the-art
Contributions by:

     * Toshikazu Ikeda (Yokohama National University, Japan)
     * Peter Galbraith (University of Queensland, Australia)
     * Jonei Cerqueira Barbosa (State University of Feira de Santana, Brazil)
     * Pauline Vos (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
     * Bharath Sriraman (University of Montana, USA)

Conference secretary and conference website: 
http://www.ictma14.de or http://www.ictma2009.de :
For further information (e.g., personal 
invitation letter) please contact the conference 
secretary Karen Stadtlander (University of 
Hamburg, Department of Education) 
ictma at erzwiss.uni-hamburg.de or visit the website 
of the conference, which will be updated 


5. New e-journal: Educational Designer

ISDDE  - International Society for Design  and Development in Education
You might like to look at ISDDE's new e-journal 
Educational Designer, which has just been 

You will find it at http://www.educationaldesigner.org/

We hope you find this first issue interesting.  We look forward to hearing your
comments on it -- and perhaps, in the future, your contributions to it.

Hugh Burkhardt  <Hugh.Burkhardt at nottingham.ac.uk>


6. Calendar of Events of Interest to the ICMI Community

ATCM-13: 13th Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics
Bangkok, Thailand,  December 15-19, 2008

3rd international conference to review research 
on Science, TEchnology and Mathematics Education
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR), 
Mumbai, India, January 5-9, 2009

CERME 6: Sixth Conference organised by the 
European Society for Research in Mathematics 
University Lyon 1, France, January 27 - February 1, 2009

3rd International Symposium on Mathematics and 
its Connections to the Arts and Sciences
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, 21st-23rd of May, 2009

5th Asian Mathematical Conference
Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 22 - 26, 2009

ICTMT-9 - 9th Int Conf on Technology in Mathematics Teaching
Metz, France,  July 4-8, 2009

ICTMA 14 - 14th International Conference on the 
Teaching of Mathematical Modelling and 
University of Hamburg, Germany, July 27-31, 2009

SEMT '09 - 10th bi-annual conference on Elementary Mathematics Teaching,
"The development of mathematical understanding"
Prague, August 23-28, 2009

"Models in Developing Mathematics Education"
The Mathematics Education into the 21st Century Project
Dresden, Saxony, Germany, September 11-17, 2009
<mailto:arogerson at inetia.pl>alan at rogerson.pol.pl

SRD'09 - Southern Right Delta'09
7th Southern Hemisphere Conference on the Teaching
and Learning of Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics
Gordons Bay, South Africa, 29 November-4 December 2009



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