What could be more practical than good research? On mutual relations between research and practice of mathematics education

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These seem to be very special times for mathematics education. The public interest in the topic has never been greater. Probably the most prominent among the occurrences that occasioned this recent leap in popularity are international comparative studies such as TIMSS and PISA. The fact that, in spite of the ongoing efforts toward reform in mathematics education, many countries found the results of the international measurements of their students' achievements rather disappointing led the ICME 10 Program Committee to create the Survey Team on Relations between Mathematics Education Research and Practice. The team, coordinated by the author of this talk, and including Aline Robert from France, Ole Skovsmose from Denmark, Yoshihiko Hashimoto from Japan, and Gelsa Knijnik from Brazil, was invited to reflect on the question of how research has been informing the practice of mathematics education over the last decade. Following the invitation, the Survey Team turned to the members of the mathematics education community asking them to answer three queries about their own work: (1) How would you describe the essence of your work in mathematics education over the last 5 years or so? (2) During this period, to what extent was your work stirred and influenced by the current state of mathematics education in your country and/or in the world? (3) Do you think that the work done by you and by your colleagues over the last five years or so had, or is going to have, an actual impact on the practice of mathematics education? Analysis of the 74 responses received from all over the world revealed several interesting trends. This article is the text of the ICME plenary address in which the author presented an "executive summary" of the findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-413
Number of pages21
JournalEducational Studies in Mathematics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Impact
  • Mathematics education
  • Particiaptionist and acquisitionist paradigms
  • Practice
  • Qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • Education


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