Topic Study Group 4:
New developments and trends in mathematics education at upper secondary level
Martínez Carranza 1 Auditorium - Civil Eng.
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Team members:
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Aims and focus

Upper Secondary education is becoming more important and facing new challenges because more and more students all over the world are encouraged to study and are effectively studying beyond the compulsory education level (around the age of 15 or 16). This gives rise to many questions:
How is Mathematics evolving at the Upper Secondary level? Are all students studying mathematics at this level? Should they? Are all the students studying the same kind of mathematics? Should they? Which different kinds of courses are offered at this level that involve mathematics? How do these courses connect to lower secondary mathematics courses and to higher education courses? How are vocational courses at this level developed and how do they inter-relate with other courses? What ideas are being proposed and implemented in different countries and in different regions of the world? Which are the philosophies behind these proposals? Does change at this level require more research, more professional development for teachers, more curriculum development? Which research in mathematics education being currently conducted might be relevant to shape new curriculum development at this level?

This Topic Study Group intends to study the topics underpinning these questions and others that might be proposed by participants which are connected to the theme of TSG 4: “New developments and trends in mathematics education at upper secondary level”

To discuss these ambitious questions, we propose to organize the topic study group around a set of four inter-related themes as well as to utilize the web page of TSG 4 in advance of ICME 11. The themes proposed are:

(1) Trends in Mathematics at the upper secondary level in different countries:
In this theme there will be presentations of recent, developing or planned reforms in the teaching of mathematics at the upper secondary level, focusing on what is happening in the schools with teachers and students.

(2) Advances in Mathematics Courses offered at the upper secondary level meeting the diversity of need:
We will focus on specific mathematics courses offered in different countries that diversify the offerings at the upper secondary level, and whether the ones offered now are relevant to the targeted student population, such as Math for the Social Sciences, Math for art courses, math for vocational studies,…

(3) The impact of recent research in mathematics education and the need for more specific research at upper secondary level:
When curriculum changes, some of the changes are due to research in mathematics education: which examples can be offered? At other times the change stimulates research: again can we offer examples? Which research seems to be needed? Is classroom based research possible at this level? Do we have examples of new research at this level?

(4) Recent Trends in Philosophies of mathematics education at the upper secondary level:
Is mathematics a needed subject for all students throughout schooling/future citizens/workers? Is mathematics a cultural subject that might or might not be studied by all students? Must mathematics be studied beyond the compulsory education level? Should different ways of approaching mathematics be offered? Should mathematics be merged with other subjects for some/all students? At this level should we have more (independent) project work with students elaborating more on some specific content or using mathematics to solve or model some real world problem depending on each project?

Our objective in choosing this thematic approach is to organize ways of reflecting on the topic that might offer different approaches from previous ICMEs in order to intensify the debate.

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Papers already accepted

Dindyal, Jaguthsing, Singapore
A Diverse Mathematical Landscape at the Junior College Level

Serge Hazanov, Switzerland
Evolution of International Baccalaureate Mathematics Program

Jurkiewicz, Samuel, Brazil
Discrete Mathematics In The Classroom

Jianyao Zhang, Rongjin Huang, Yeping Li, Peiling Qian, Xuejun Li, China & USA
Improving Mathematics Teaching and Learning with a Focus on Core Concepts in Secondary School Mathematics: Introducing a new nation-wide effort in Mainland China

José Carlos Oliveira Costa, Vinício de Macedo Santos, Brazil
The Limits and Potentialities of a Competence Based Approach
Towards the Restructuring of the Brazilian Educational System in the 1990s

Stripp, C. & Button, T., U K
How the Further Mathematics Network’s radical new approach to tuition and support for teachers is widening access to high level mathematics for pre-university students in England

Masuda, Naoyuki, Japan
An Approach to Teaching Knot Theory in Schools _ the teaching in senior high school

Roberto Alves de Oliveira, Celi Espasandin Lopes, Brazil
Reading and Writing in Mathematics Classes at the Upper Secondary Level

Brown, Jill, Australia
Times of Change in Upper Secondary Mathematics Classrooms in Victoria, Australia: Assessment, Content, Technology

zhou chang-jun, China
A Case Study of Four Ethnic Minority Excellent Students’ Mathematics Learning Affect in Senior 3 in West Yunnan, China

Gilda de La Rocque Palis, Brazil
Development of the function concept at the secondary level. Difficulties at the transition to mathematics based careers at the tertiary level.

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Call for papers

The TSG 4 organizing team cordially invites all teachers, researchers, decision makers and other interested people to submit summaries of papers addressing topics related to our “Aims and Focus”. Each summary should be up to 4 pages in length, and outline the key ideas addressed and conclusions reached. Where applicable, journal references or website addresses providing access to fully developed papers should be included. Submission should be electronic to one of the organizing team members with a copy to one of the co-chairs: either as a direct e-mail, or as an attached Word file. Please do not send full papers. Please do not exceed the page guideline.

Summaries should be submitted by December 15, 2007. The organizing team will select the papers to be posted on the website or presented at ICME-11 by January 10, 2008. Those selected will be invited to submit full original papers of no more than 10 pages by March 15, 2008. These papers will be published on this website after being fully refereed by two members of the organizing team to ensure quality and relevance of papers.

The organizing team reserves the right to invite people to submit their work anytime during this process.

The organizing team of TSG 4 will edit Proceedings of the papers and discussions of this Topic Study Group. Depending on the quantity and quality of the papers presented there will be only a digital edition or the Proceedings will be submitted to a publisher.

Please indicate in a cover note with your submission whether or not you wish to be considered for an oral presentation at TSG-4, and if you are otherwise involved in an ICME-11 activity or if you have received any other proposal to contribute to another ICME-11 group or activity, since the number of possible speakers is extremely limited to give opportunity to everybody.

We are anticipating talks of up to 15 minutes each, followed by 5 minutes for discussion.

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List of links to relevant material

The organizing team of TSG 4 will publish on this website a list of links to relevant material pertaining to the theme of our TSG. These will include links to pages with mathematics courses and syllabuses, discussions, research papers and other papers around “New developments and trends in mathematics education at upper secondary level”. We invite all interested to submit links to be included in this list.

  1. ICME11 – groups with similar themes:
    1. Discussion group 22: Current problems and challenges in upper secondary mathematics education
  2. ICME10 – groups with similar themes:
    1. TSG 2: New development and trends in mathematics education at secondary level
    2. DG 19: Current problems and challenges in lower secondary mathematics education
  3. Mathematics Curricula in various countries:
    1. New HK senior secondary curriculum
  4. Books:
    1. Teaching Secondary School Mathematics – Research and practice for the 21st century, Merrilyn Goos, Gloria Stillman, Colleen Vale
  5. Websites:
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The papers will soon be available for downloading here.
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