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Le point de vue de Gabriele Kaiser (ICME 13), sept. 2015

Vers ICME 2016 à Hambourg!

Gabriele Kaiser, présidente du comité de programme du congrès international sur l’enseignement des mathématiques (ICME 13, juillet 2016, Hambourg)


The Society of Didactics of Mathematics (Gesellschaft für Didaktik der Mathematik - GDM) has the pleasure of hosting ICME-13 in 2016 in Germany. The congress – to be held under the auspices of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) – will take place at the University of Hamburg from Sunday, 24th July to Sunday, 31st July 2016.

ICME-3 already took place in Germany in 1976 in Karlsruhe and the Society of Didactics of Mathematics representing the German speaking community of didactics of mathematics will welcome mathematics educators from all over the world back to Germany. The congress attendees will experience the very special characteristics of the German mathematics education discussion, which is closely connected to European traditions of didactics of mathematics and has seen important recent developments.

The German tradition in didactics of mathematics has many distinctive features, which will be evident during the congress and which will offer ICME-13 participants deeper insights into Continental European traditions of mathematics education. These Continental European traditions on didactics of mathematics, called didactique in France, Didaktik in Germany, Denmark and Sweden,  Didáctica in Spain, share a common core, which can be characterised by a strong normative orientation connected with deep relations to empirical practice.

Some of these features are related to argumentation and proof, various types of proof and its role in mathematics teaching. This strand of the discussion is especially connected to a particular approach to didactics of mathematics, which is subject-bound and strongly oriented towards mathematics (so-called Stoffdidaktik). This approach was already evident in Arnold Kirsch's keynote lecture on ”Aspects of Simplification in Mathematics Teaching” at ICME-3 in Karlsruhe and has further developed in the last 40 years. Other distinctive features are related to applications and modelling, which play a prominent role in German mathematics education with foundations going back to Felix Klein, the first president of the International Commission on Mathematics Instruction. Since that time real world examples and modelling have increased in their significance in school and teacher education and German research and discussion has evolved around these ideas.

The current state-of-the-art on this topic was described by Werner Blum’s keynote lecture at ICME-12 in Seoul with the theme “Quality Teaching of Mathematical Modelling: What Do We Know, What Can We Do?” Recently, several projects on teacher education and teacher training, strongly connected to the ideas of Felix Klein, have been developed in the German speaking community. Another distinctive feature is the tight connection between theory and practice in mathematics education, for example in empirical research based on socio-cultural and psychological perspectives on mathematics and its education. Strongly connected to these empirical activities is another feature of German mathematics education, namely a focus on design-based activities aimed at direct improvement of the teaching-learning process.

As Erich Wittmann elaborated in his keynote lecture “Developing Mathematics Education in a Systemic Process” at ICME-9 in Tokyo/Makuhari substantial learning environments bridge the gap between theory and practice. Furthermore, the German tradition in mathematics education derives distinctiveness from its strong educational roots, in particular, in the holistic concept of Bildung. This concept, which is only partly covered by the term education, was developed by the reformer Wilhelm von Humboldt some two hundred years ago, and refers to the highest possible grade of development of a human being and personality. This educational philosophy has led to an educational system that emphasises the personal development of students as well as the demands of the society, a balance that is reflected in new developments in didactics and related discussions on school syllabi in mathematics education.

These features of the recent developments since ICME-3 will become apparent at ICME-13 by a thematic afternoon on Selected European Didactic and German Speaking Traditions, Legacy of Felix Klein. The following strands will take place in parallel:
•    European Didactic Traditions focusing on didactic traditions from Germany, France, Italy and Netherlands
•    German-speaking Traditions in Mathematics Education Research
•    Legacy of Felix Klein

These new activities will be integrated into the usual elements of previous ICMEs to jointly form the programme of ICME-13 with plenary lectures and panels, 54 Topic Study Groups, surveys and so on. The Topic Study Groups will - as kind of mini-conferences - play an important role at ICME-13, because they allow all participants of ICME-13 to bring their own work to ICME-13 and discuss their approaches there.

The submission process for papers contributing to the Topic Study Groups has started at 1st September 2015 and will end at 1st October 2015, posters can be submitted from 1st – 31st January 2016. Details can be found at the website of ICME-13.

A comprehensive description of ICME-13 can be found at the website: www.icme13.org

See you 2016 at ICME-13 in Hamburg!

Gabriele Kaiser, le 1er septembre 2015

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