Discussion group 11:
Quality and relevance in mathematics education research
CSFI Hall - Phsyical-Mathematical

Considerations of the quality and relevance of mathematics education research will revolve around the broad question: What are the purposes of mathematics education research and how are these purposes determined? With this foundational question in mind, DG 11 will focus on various related questions such as: What are appropriate criteria for quality and relevance, respectively, in mathematics education research? How and by whom are such criteria established? Are there potential conflicts between the pursuit of quality and the pursuit of relevance in such research? How can criteria be established that pay due respect to the diversity of approaches and perspectives used in mathematics education research?

  • Ole Björkqvist (Finland)
    Abo Akademi University, Finland
    Professor of mathematics and science education
    Faculty of Education, Abo Akademi University PB 311, 65101 Vasa, Finland telephone: +358-6-3247363
  • Frank Lester (USA)
    Indiana University
    Chancellor's Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Cognitive Science
    3010 Education Building Indiana University, Bloomington, USA
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Team members:
  • Fernando Cajas (Guatemala)
    Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala
    Engineering Research Institute Director
  • Alexander Maz (Spain)
    University of Cordoba, Spain
    Departamento de Matemáticas
    Departamento de Matemáticas Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación Universidad de Córdoba C/ San Alberto magno s/n 14071- Córdoba Tel. 927-212543 URL: http://www.uco.es/~ma1mamaa/
    ma1mamaa@uco.es, amaz@ugr.es, and amaz@platon.ugr.es
  • Lyn English (Australia)
    Queensland University of Technology
    Professor of mathematics education and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
    S Block, Victoria Park Rd., Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 4059. Phone: 617 3138 3329 Fax: 617 3138 3985
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How to Participate

Discussion Groups are expressly not about the presentation of research papers. However, as starting points for discussions the OT is calling for written contributions that bring forward issues, problems, and challenges addressing one or more of the questions listed above. After having been accepted, these contributions will be posted on the web page of DG11 and will be referred to during the discussions at ICME11. It is envisioned that some contributions, as a result of work in the group, may be developed into papers that provide new perspectives on quality and relevance in mathematics education research. Other written contributions will have a different aim and form – this will not be decisive for acceptance.

Contributors are expected to participate in all the sessions of the Discussion Group, together with others who are interested in the theme but have not entered a written contribution. Efforts will be made to minimize language difficulties during the discussions. The OT welcomes contributions and participants with different cultural backgrounds and with different kinds of relationship to mathematics education research (researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, etc.).
The written contributions should include the following information:

. the author(s) names and location (town and country, school, or establishment) and contact details;
. an indication as to which of the DG11 questions are addressed;
. a brief description of the context and setting of the particular issue, problem, or challenge (contributors should not assume readers will be familiar with the structure and context of schooling, the provision of mathematics education in the country concerned, or the context within which research is conducted);
. a description of the particular issue, problem, or challenge from a practical and/or theoretical perspective (include specific examples and/or sample evidence to help illustrate and/or quantify the particular issues/experiences involved where relevant).

The written contribution should be no more than 4 pages (A4 please) in length using 12-point font, single spaced, with 2 cm margins, and should be submitted electronically to both DG11 co-chairs (objorkqv@abo.fi and lester@indiana.edu).



By the end of March 2008 – Information about acceptance will be sent to contributors who will be asked to prepare an extended version of their text (6 pages maximum) by the end of April 2008.

By the 20 April 2008 – The OT will prepare and publish an organising framework for the operation of DG11 based on the extended contributions received. At this stage we envision devoting the first 2 sessions to small group discussions after a brief introduction to the key issues by members of the OT. For the final session (1 hour only) the OT is considering the possibility of a more formal report back session to share general observations and possibly produce a short communiqué.

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The papers will soon be available for downloading here.
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