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In March 1978 the Labour Government announced that it was to establish an Inquiry to consider the teaching of Mathematics in primary and secondary schools in England and Wales, with particular regard to its effectiveness and intelligibility, and to the match between the mathematical curriculum and the skills required in further education, employment and adult life generally. There was a new breeze blowing from the office of the Secretary of State for Education and Science. Schools Council, the customary mouthpiece of the Department of Education and Science, had produced numerous working papers containing many suggestions about what should be taught in schools and how it should be taught.
This paper seeks to record an interview about Abbe Herzig's journey in mathematics education, career, research and practice. Abbe Herzig's passion and love for mathematics…
This paper seeks to record an interview about Abbe Herzig's journey in mathematics education, career, research and practice. Abbe Herzig's passion and love for mathematics began at her childhood. Although at some points in her life, due to personal and professional reasons explained below, she left mathematics education and teaching, she returned to the mathematics discipline, not as a mathematician but as an education scholar. As such, she was able to investigate those aspects of the disciplinary culture of mathematics that turns so many women away and to help formulate ways that the mathematics community can make the subject a more inclusive endeavor. She has developed courses and programmes to help diverse populations of young people discover the relevance of mathematics and science to their interests and realities. Herzig is in the midst of a major six‐year research programme, funded by the USA National Science Foundation, concerned with women and students of colour in the postgraduate mathematical sciences.
This article is based on citations, discussion and interview with Abbe Herzig conducted in October 2006.
In one of her research studies, Abbe found that among mathematics faculty in one doctoral program their belief in talent moved the structure of doctoral education away from one of mentoring students to become mathematicians to one in which the faculty emphasized filtering out students not possessing the prerequisite dedication or talent. Mathematics is generally regarded as an objective field of knowledge, in which mathematicians work to discover truths about the natural world. In a more recent publication, Herzig has criticized the mathematics “pipeline” metaphor, as she believes it implies that students are passive actors in their education, reacting to “encountering a crack in the pipe”.
This is a unique profile of an internationally recognised scholar in the field of the diversity in mathematics. Herzig is a remarkable role model for women who wish to embark not only on mathematics education and profession, but other women too.
Prior research shows that stratification of future adult opportunities influences stratification in the academic performance of students. This perspective is used to…
Prior research shows that stratification of future adult opportunities influences stratification in the academic performance of students. This perspective is used to generate hypotheses regarding the sources of cross-national gender differences in mathematics performance. These hypotheses are tested using multivariate and multilevel analyses of adult opportunities for women and cross-national differences in mathematics performance by gender. This future opportunity perspective is expanded to take into account the historical incorporation of women in modern nation-states through institutionalized mass schooling emphasizing egalitarian ideals. Results indicate a cross-national shift in the direction of less gender inequality in overall school mathematics performance. However, gender inequality is more evident in the advanced 12th grade mathematics. The results of a more specialized analysis of the advanced 12th grade mathematics are compared with the earlier findings regarding mathematics performance.
This paper sheds light on one of the educational projects that was launched by Ministry of Education (MOE) in Oman in the academic year 2007–2008. The project, which is…
This paper sheds light on one of the educational projects that was launched by Ministry of Education (MOE) in Oman in the academic year 2007–2008. The project, which is called the “Cognitive Development Program for Students in Science, Mathematics, and Concepts of Environmental Geography”, was introduced in 741 government schools in response to the low national score in Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007. Hence, the main aim of the program is to develop the students’ science and mathematics capabilities in order to improve their levels in mathematics and science and to give further emphasis to these skills that form the basis of the rapidly changing world. This paper endeavors to acquaint the Gulf Cooperation Council countries with the nature of this program. It also focuses on the impact this program has on mathematics and science teachers’ and on students’ achievements in mathematics, science, and concepts of environmental geography. To achieve this goal, two questionnaires – one for teachers and the other for students – are conducted to measure the effectiveness of the Cognitive Development Program from teachers’ and students’ perspectives. The results of the questionnaires showed that the program has remarkably affected both teachers and students. One of the positive effects of this program was that it has encouraged the teachers to be always updated about what is new in these subject areas and the students are exposed to questions that test their synthesis. However, there are a number of drawbacks to this program from teachers’ and students’ perspectives. Constructive feedback for the program developers and supervisors in the MOE to base improvement is provided.
This chapter provides a synthesis of the research project which investigated whether or not the most recent mathematics curriculum reform has reached the classroom and…
This chapter provides a synthesis of the research project which investigated whether or not the most recent mathematics curriculum reform has reached the classroom and influenced classroom practice and student learning in the mainland China. Three types of evidence for change as a result of the curriculum reform were examined. These included the beliefs and perceptions of teachers about learning and teaching mathematics, the cognitive features of learning tasks and of classroom interaction that were implemented in classroom, and student learning outcomes. Two groups of elementary math teachers and their students participated in the study. One group had participated in the reform implementation in classroom for several years, and the other group had used the conventional curriculum when the project was conducted in 2005. About 150 videotaped class sessions were analyzed from 58 classrooms of the two groups. Survey methods were used to probe the changes in the beliefs and perceptions of teachers about teaching and learning mathematics. The student learning outcomes were assessed for three times with multiple measures of mathematics achievement. Findings of the project provide the converging evidence that the curriculum reform has resulted in some of the expected changes. Reform teachers were more likely to hold a dynamic view of mathematics and to indicate the importance to provide students the learning opportunity to hypothesize, to proof, and to communicate in learning mathematics. The reform classrooms used more learning tasks with higher cognitive demands. The teachers in the reform classrooms asked more questions that required students to describe procedures leading to their answers and the students in the reform classrooms raised more questions in learning mathematics. Students of the reform classrooms showed to have achieved a relatively more balanced development in different cognitive areas of mathematics achievement.
The purpose of this chapter is to study the mathematisation of finance – excessive use of mathematical models in finance – which has been widely blamed for the recent…
The purpose of this chapter is to study the mathematisation of finance – excessive use of mathematical models in finance – which has been widely blamed for the recent financial and economic crisis. We argue that the problem might actually be the financialisation of mathematics, as evidenced by the gradual embedding of branches of mathematics into financial economics. The concept of embeddedness, originally proposed by Polanyi, is relevant to describe the sociological relationship between fields of knowledge. After exploring the relationship between mathematics, finance and economics since antiquity, we find that theoretical developments in the 1950s and 1970s lead directly to this embedding. The key implication of our findings is the realization that it has become necessary to disembed mathematics from finance and economics, and proposes a number of partial steps to facilitate this process. This chapter contributes to the debate on the mathematisation of finance by uniquely combining a historical approach, which chronicles the evolution of the relation between mathematics and finance, with a sociological approach from the perspective of Polyani’s concept of embedding.
Mathematics can be a challenging content area for all students and especially for students with disabilities. Assistive technology can support the access, participation…
Mathematics can be a challenging content area for all students and especially for students with disabilities. Assistive technology can support the access, participation and achievement of students with disabilities in mathematics in general and in inclusive mathematics settings in particular. In this chapter, assistive technology to academic and functional mathematics will be discussed; particularly, manipulatives, calculators and other technology-mediated mathematics interventions (e.g., apps or computer programs) will be highlighted.
The Global Mathematics Education Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) provides a forum for researchers and…
The Global Mathematics Education Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) provides a forum for researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss theory, practices, and techniques for mathematics learning from early childhood to tertiary education. Teacher education and professional development is a significant focus of the SIG’s conversations. This chapter discusses and current and future impact of CIE research on teacher education and professional development in global mathematics. A range of factors can undermine students’ performance in mathematics. In many contexts, teacher shortages result in underqualified teachers; teachers trained in other subjects are assigned to teach mathematics; or teacher training lacks adequate focus on teaching mathematics for understanding. While these factors exist in many contexts, they are most acute in low-income countries and communities. Mathematics is widely recognized as a mechanism for economic growth, at individual and system levels. However, low-income countries and marginalized populations perform poorly in cross-national assessments. As a result, lower-performing countries may emulate policy and practice of the higher-performing countries. In such cases there is a risk of superficial “fixes” that ignore contextual factors. There are ways to reduce such risks by combining such assessments with more contextual studies, or by using cross-national assessments as catalysts for examining what is happening locally. Looking forward, there is reason for optimism about the recognition of the importance of early-grade numeracy; recognition of the intersections of mathematics, culture, and language; and potential for reaching across CIE areas and methodologies to develop a more measured and nuanced view of assessment results.
Amidst a worldwide concern with teacher quality, recent teacher reforms often focus on how to certify teachers, how to evaluate teachers, how to recruit the best and…
Amidst a worldwide concern with teacher quality, recent teacher reforms often focus on how to certify teachers, how to evaluate teachers, how to recruit the best and brightest people to be teachers, and how to fire bad teachers. The political discourse of these policy reforms oftentimes depicts teachers as largely inactive transmitters of knowledge and does not recognize the agency they have in affecting standards. Yet, such a narrow framework may suppress teacher pedagogy, practices, and also teacher beliefs. In this chapter, we seek to understand the extent that two types of math teacher beliefs – traditional and constructivist orientations – are related to national cultural factors. In doing so, we test both “culturist” and “neo-institutional” hypotheses by observing how those beliefs vary across different nations.
We focus our study on children of immigrants in science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM) fields because children of immigrants represent a diverse pool of future…
We focus our study on children of immigrants in science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM) fields because children of immigrants represent a diverse pool of future talent in those fields. We posit that children of immigrants may have a higher propensity to prepare for entering STEM fields, and our analysis finds some evidence to support this conjecture. Using the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS: 88-00) and its restricted postsecondary transcript data, we examine three key milestones in the STEM pipeline: (1) highest math course taken during high school, (2) initial college major in STEM, and (3) bachelor’s degree attainment in STEM. Using individual level NELS data and country-level information from UNESCO and NSF, we find that children of immigrants of various countries of origin, with the exception of Mexicans, are more likely than children of natives to take higher-level math courses during high school. Asian and white children of immigrants are more likely to complete STEM degrees than third-generation whites. Drawing on theories of immigrant incorporation and cultural capital, we discuss the rationales for these patterns and the policy implications of these findings.