Discussion group 27:
How is technology challenging us to re-think the fundamentals of mathematics education?
Gumersindo Cantú Auditorium (FACPYA) and A102, A103 rooms.

The following questions are suggested as starting points for the discussions:

    • What are the nature and goals of mathematics education and should we rethink the goals in an ever-evolving technological world?

    • What are the new opportunities that digital technologies offer to mathematics education?

    • What are the consequences (both positive and negative) that are likely to result from the use of technology in mathematics education and how do these vary in different countries and learning contexts?

    • Will the use of technology in mathematics education permit a more democratic and universal access to the development of certain sorts of mathematical insight and competencies or will it contribute to an undermining of the mathematical literacy of the student population ?
  • Lulu Healy (Brazil)
    lulu@pq.cnpq.br
  • Lynda Ball (Australia)
    lball@unimelb.edu.au
  • Ana Isabel Sacristán (Mexico)
    asacrist@cinvestav.mx
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Team members:
  • Rudolf Sträßer (Germany)
    Rudolf.Straesser@math.uni-giessen.de
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Aims and focus

Although technology has been a key aspect of mathematics education for several decades, its role and use continue to be subject to controversy and debate amongst mathematics educators and mathematicians. What is undeniable is that the introduction of technology into mathematics classrooms should bring transformations to both the educational processes and the mathematics itself. The central aims of this discussion group are to identify possible changes that are brought about by the use of technology within mathematics education, as well as the different factors which contribute to the debates surrounding the integration process and how (or if) it has impacted on the ways we do, learn and teach mathematics as well as on the mathematics that we teach, learn and do.


We hope that the discussions will both look to the future and reflect upon what we might learn from the past. Although we accept that the use of any technological tool brings potential changes to learning ecologies, in order to promote a focussed discussion, we use technology as shorthand for digital technology and we welcome contributions associated with the use of technology tools as a means to express mathematical ideas (including handheld devices such as calculators as well as desktop machines). We also envisage that group discussion will consider the use of technology in the creation of new learning spaces and virtual mathematics education communities. We hope to receive contributions the reflect the diversity of both learning contexts and learners, since it is far from clear that technology impacts on our thinking about mathematics and its teaching in any uniform way.


The following questions are suggested as starting points for the discussions:

    • What are the nature and goals of mathematics education and should we rethink the goals in an ever-evolving technological world?

    • What are the new opportunities that digital technologies offer to mathematics education?

    • What are the consequences (both positive and negative) that are likely to result from the use of technology in mathematics education and how do these vary in different countries and learning contexts?

    • Will the use of technology in mathematics education permit a more democratic and universal access to the development of certain sorts of mathematical insight and competencies or will it contribute to an undermining of the mathematical literacy of the student population ?

We intend that contributions to the discussion group will be available on the group site prior to the conference so that the discussion during ICME-11 can consider whether and how the main areas of controversy can be resolved and if the problems associated with attempts to integrate technology into mathematics classrooms across the world can be counteracted. In the light of this discussion, we hope it will be possible to begin to formulate recommendation as to how this might be achieved.

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Call for contributions

The organizing team for DG 27 welcomes contributions related to any of the questions outlined above. We will also be happy to receive papers raising additional challenges associated with the role of technology in rethinking the fundamentals of Mathematics Education. We hope to receive contributions from a wide range of participants – researchers and practitioners, including those who choose NOT to use technology, those who would like to have more choice about technology use as well as those already committed to integrating technology. We encourage contributions focussing on contexts and learners currently under-represented in the technology and mathematics education literature, so that our discussions can contemplate the situation as regards those with special educational needs, cover a diversity of countries and include reflections related to technology within school mathematics, university mathematics and in work and other out of school contexts.


Discussion Groups (DGs) are designed to gather congress participants who are interested in discussing, in a genuinely interactive way, certain challenging or controversial issues and dilemmas of a substantial, non-rhetorical nature. Hence the programme of DGs will not be structured around the oral presentation of individual contributions. Instead, all the contributions accepted to DG 27 will be made available on the Discussion Group web-site prior to the congress and all contributors will also be invited to bring copies of accepted papers to be presented-by-distribution. All proposals will be reviewed by members of the organising group. This review procedure will lead to three possible outcomes: (1) acceptance, (2) recommendation for revision, or (3) rejection.

Proposals will be accepted until the 1st of February 2008 and information about the acceptance of papers will be available by early in March 2008. Note that earlier submissions allow for the possibility of revision.

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Practical Information

Papers should be a MAXIMUM of 8 pages in length. They should be written clearly in English. Text should be 14 point TIMES with 16 point spacing and should fit into an outline of 16 cm x 25 cm. Papers should start with an abstract of up to 10 lines, single spaced and indented 1cm from the left text edge. Spacing between paragraphs should be 12 points. The title should be in 16 point bold capitals, followed by authors’ names and institutions in 14 point italics, all centred in the text; name(s) of participating authors should be underlined.
Papers in .doc or .pdf format should be sent to the Topic Group chair:
Lulu Healy

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