#36: Contemporary Issues in Mathematics Education

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MSRI Publications -- Volume 36

Contemporary Issues in Mathematics Education

Edited by Estela A. Gavosto, Steven G. Krantz, and William McCallum

During the past decade, mathematics education has changed rapidly, giving rise to a polarization of opinions among the community of research mathematicians. What is the appropriate balance between theory, technique, and applications? What is the role of technology? How do we fulfil the needs of students entering other fields?

This book is the outcome of an effort to create a dialogue about mathematics education that included mathematicians with a wide variety of views. In a conference held at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in 1996, more than one hundred mathematics instructors, all dedicated to effective mathematics teaching but by different means, engaged in meaningful and sometimes spirited discussions about how mathematics can and should be taught. The conference consisted of formal presentations, question and answer sessions, and more informal working groups. This volume contains reports and position papers stemming from all these activities.

Part I deals with general issues in university mathematics education; Part II presents case studies on particular projects; Part III presents a range of opinions on mathematics education in elementary and secondary schools; and Part IV presents the reports of the working groups.