Scientific Program and Special Features
We expect that the International Program Committee will create an ICME-13 program that will contain, as in previous congresses, activities such as plenary lectures, panel debates and surveys, which will give an overview of the state-of-the-art within mathematics education worldwide, and in addition will provide the participants with insights into present and future major trends in mathematics education. Furthermore, the program will provide for meetings of ICMI Study groups, Topic Study Groups and other small group activities supporting discussion of major themes in mathematics education. This will enable the conference participants to actively participate via their own contributions.
We propose the following special feature of ICME-13: a Felix-Klein-Mini-Conference comprising a whole afternoon, where the participants will be provided with a condensed discussion of the relation between mathematics as a scientific discipline and mathematics education. The Mini-Conference could adopt a German tradition of Stoffdidaktik (subject-based didactics of mathematics) as a specific way of doing research in mathematics education. After tracing the influence of Felix Klein, it would consider more recent developments regarding the role of subject matter knowledge in mathematics classrooms and teacher education. In particular the Felix Klein project presently being undertaken by ICMI could be a focus. This Mini-Conference would be a special opportunity for bringing together mathematicians interested in education, and teachers and researchers in mathematics education. At present Hans-Georg Weigand and Rudolf Sträßer have assumed responsibility for this component of the program.
Another special offer during the conference shall be a mathematical exhibition, developed by the Mathematikum, the world’s first mathematical science centre in Gießen, which is displaying many mathematical objects and hands-on-materials for mathematical activities. The exhibition shall contain mirrors producing optical illusions, challenging puzzles, giant soap puzzles allowing many mathematical activities. The exhibition will not only be open for conference participants but also for the public – especially school children – providing insights into the attractiveness of mathematics. The exhibition will be accompanied by lectures of renowned experts from mathematics and mathematics education explaining the mathematical underpinning of the experiments. These activities will be of special interest for many teachers from Hamburg and its wider surroundings and will be an excellent possibility to close the gap between academic discussions and interests of teachers. Furthermore this exhibition and its accompanying lectures will demonstrate to the interested public the beauty of mathematics and mathematical activities and the challenges of teaching and learning mathematics. The exhibition will be open during the whole conference with special activities during the Happy hour and lunch break.
The importance of visualising geometrical objects and the necessity of spatial intuition for successful mathematical teaching is already emphasised in Felix Klein’s “Elementary mathematics from an advanced standpoint and has been formed in special traditions of the German didactics of mathematics. Of special relevance is the so-called Modellkammer by Felix Klein, in which he built with his own students mathematical models of mathematical objects and mathematical instruments for practical exercises and which has inspired many mathematicians all over the world.
We look forward to being able to include these new activities featuring characteristics of the German debate on mathematics education together with the usual elements of previous ICMEs to jointly form the program of ICME-13.