Symposium on the Occasion
of the 100th Anniversary of ICMI

(Rome, 5–8 March 2008)

(4 parallel one hour sessions of 2 short presentations each)

Titles and abstracts

Speaker: Eileen F. Donoghue

The Inception of ICMI: David Eugene Smith and the Founding of ICTM

Summary: What prompted the founding in 1908 of the International Commission on the Teaching of Mathematics, the forerunner of ICMI? This presentation will explore the genesis of the idea for the Commission and the international efforts to establish it. The role of David Eugene Smith in these events and his collaboration with Felix Klein, first president of the Commission, will be highlighted.

Speaker: Jill Adler

The development of AFRICME

Summary: In 2005, the first AFRICME regional ICMI congress was held in Johannesburg. Thus began an initiative, stimulated by ICMI, for greater interaction, collaboration and exchanges in mathematics education among practitioners and researchers across the continent. In May 2007, AFRICME2 was held in Kenya, and plans are underway for AFRICME3. Both congresses have drawn participation across a large range of countries, reflecting diverse activity. In this presentation I will describe the development of AFRICME, the work of the first two regional congresses, the role ICMI has played in this, the links to other ICMI activity on the continent (particularly CEMF – the regional congresses for French-speaking countries), and the benefits of an interaction space for African mathematics education. I will also discuss the considerable challenge for building something that can extend across all of Africa, and thus the important and interesting work and engagement that lies ahead.

Speaker: Frederick K.S. Leung

The significance of the ICMI Study on Mathematics Education in East Asia and the West

Summary: The ICMI Study "Mathematics Education in Different Cultural Traditions: A comparative study of East Asia and the West" did not only highlight the importance of interpreting results of international studies in mathematics education in terms of the underlying cultural traditions of the countries concerned, it also signified the recognition of the East Asian cultural tradition as an important source of inspiration in the international scene of mathematics education. For East Asian countries, the past century has been very much a process of searching for an identity. For the rest of the world, the rising presence of East Asia adds richness to the human repertoire of ideas in mathematics education. In this talk, this ICMI study will be used as a starting point to review the involvement of East Asian countries in ICMI activities and in the international scene of mathematics education.

Coordinators: Alan Bishop (Australia), Lee Peng Yee (Singapore)