Topic Study Group 36:
Research and development in assessment and testing in mathematics education
B302 and B301 Rooms
  • Frederick Leung (China, Hong Kong SAR)
  • Leonor Santos (Portugal) and
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Team members:
  • Yeap Ban Har (Singapore)
  • François Pluvinage (France)
  • Pekka Kupari (Finland)
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Aims and focus

The ICME 11 (July 6-13, 2008, Monterey, Mexico) Topic Study Group 36: “Research and development in assessment and testing in mathematics education” will serve the following aims:

  • - overview of the current state of art in the topic and expositions of outstanding recent contributions to it, as seen from an international perspective;
  • - sharing of ongoing work and perspectives;
  • - contribution to new trends of research and perspectives for the future.

In the last fifty years, assessment and testing have been evolving in the direction of addressing the need of the student, to help him or her learn better, rather than merely making judgments on the achievement of the student. That is, it should be more assessment for learning rather than assessment of learning. Concerns in the past centred around judgments about the existence or not of student learning and achievement; classification, selection and ranking of students; and assessment as an irreplaceable means to regulate learning. But various new questions can be raised. For example:

  • ۰ What should be the role of assessment and testing in the present era? How do we get social recognition of the new role of assessment? What are the changes in the meaning of criteria such as fidelity and validity? Is pedagogical differentiation an objective that we want to achieve through assessment?
  • ۰ How can we contribute to an effective change of practices in mathematics education? Research pointed out that good practice arises out of assessment for learning (rather than assessment of learning). Nevertheless these research results have very few implications for practice.
  • ۰ Which kinds of procedures are more effective for assessment for learning? Under what conditions? What are the main difficulties and obstacles that teachers have to confront?
  • ۰ Should assessment and testing practices be universally adopted? Assessment and testing are inevitably enmeshed in the wider culture of the community. What is the influence of culture on various aspects of assessment and testing? How should assessment and testing be cognisant with the underlying cultural values of the community?
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Call for contributions

This Topic Study Group intends to bring together teachers, mathematicians, mathematics educators, mentors and researchers who are interested in identifying and nourishing assessment and testing issues in mathematics education. The TSG36 organizing team cordially invites all interested people to submit summaries of papers related to the topic of this group, in particular to its aims and focus. Any contribution addressing questions, problems and issues related to the topics listed may be submitted. We welcome proposals from both researchers and practitioners, and encourage contributions from all countries with different economic contexts and cultural backgrounds.

Submissions may report on research work, on work of teachers in classrooms, or issues concerning the development of theoretical frameworks or approaches. They should be written in English, and should not exceed 2 pages (Times 12, single-line spacing). They should indicate clearly the aims and the nature of the work, synthesizing its content and results. The deadline for proposal submission is December 15, 2007.
Please send your proposal as an email attachment to both Frederick Leung ( and Leonor Santos (

The organising team will select the papers to be posed on the website, and which of these papers to be presented at ICME-11, by the end of January, 2008. Authors of the selected papers will be invited to submit full original papers of no more than 10 pages by March 15, 2008.

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Organization of the TSG36

Each communication will have 15 min: 10 min presentation + 5 min discussion.
A team member will prepare a critical reaction to each of the paper presented.
There will be an about 35 min floor discussion in the last session.
The 2 co-chairs will introduce the TSG at the beginning and round up the TSG at the end.

The meetings will be held in room B301 of the FACPYA unit.

First session – July 8th (60 min) Tuesday
|12:00 to 13:00h|Activities|
|12:00 – 12:20h|Organization to the work and introduction to the theme by|
|. .|Frederick Leung and Leonor Santos|
|12:20 – 12:35h|Frederick Leung|
|12:35 – 12:55h|Arnold Arrozal|
|12:50 – 13:00h|Critical reaction by François Pluvinage|

Second session – July 9th (90 min) Wednesday
|12:00 to 13:30h|Activities|
|12:00 – 12:15h|Pamela Paek|
|12:15 – 12:30h|Leonor Santos and Jorge Pinto|
|12:30 – 12:45h|Robert Adjage and François Pluvinage|
|12:45 – 13:00h|Douglas McDougall and Zekeriya Karadag|
|13:00 – 13:15h|Lenni Haapasalo|
|13:15 – 13:30h|Critical reaction by Yeap Ban Har|

Third session – July 11th (60 min) Friday
|12:30 to 13:30h|Activities|
|12:30 – 12:45h|Filomena Leite Pinto and Leonor Santos|
|12:45 – 13:00h|Rachel Deitcher|
|13:00 – 13:15h|Paulo Dias and Leonor Santos|
|13:15 – 13:30h|Critical reaction by Pekka Kupari|

Last session – July 12th (90 min) Saturday
|12:00 to 13:30h|Activities|
|12:00 – 12:15h|Chris Little and Keith Jones|
|12:15 – 12:30h|Zhonghe Wu and Shuhua An|
|12:30 – 12:40h|Critical reaction by François Pluvinage|
|12:40 – 13:15h|Floor discussion|
|13: 15 – 13:30h|Perspective for the future by Leonor Santos and Frederick Leung|

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