The Sourcebook revisited

I have already written about The First Sourcebook on Nordic Research in Mathematics Education, which has now been published (by Information Age Publishing) and is available for purchase. My friend (and the general editor of the book) Professor Bharath Sriraman has recently been on a trip to Norway, and in that connection, a presentation of the book has been published on the website of the University of Agder. The researchers at the University of Agder have made significant contributions to this book, and Professor Simon Goodchild of University of Agder was editor for the Norwegian portion of the book.

The Sourcebook is also in the TMME Monograph series, so be sure to check out the TMME website for more information!

Honoring Paul Ernest

Information Age Publishing is about to publish a “Festschrift in honor of Paul Ernest’s 65th Birthday“. This is a volume in the monograph series of The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast, and it is edited by Bharath Sriraman and Simon Goodchild. Paul Ernest has a big name in the community of mathematics education researchers, and his main field of interest is within the area of philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of mathematics education. Here is a copy of the publisher’s description of the book:

Paul Ernest’s name is synonymous with social constructivism as a philosophy of mathematics. His contributions to mathematics education have occurred at a very fundamental level and to a extent shaped theory development in this field. His research addresses fundamental questions about the nature of mathematics and how it relates to teaching, learning and society. For the last three decades Paul has been a prolific scholar who has published in a wide array of topics such as the relationship between the philosophy of mathematics and mathematics education, and more generally the philosophy of mathematics education, ethics and values in mathematics education, and the philosophy of research methodology.

The title of this Festschrift is meant to be a pun to convey the sometimes relativistic dimension to mathematical certainty that Paul argued for in developing his philosophy, and also a play on words for the fact that absolute “earnestness” may perhaps be a Platonic construct, and not possible in the realm of language and human discourse! Paul Ernest’s scholarly evolution and life can best be summarized in the words of Walt Whitman “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself” (I am large, I contain multitudes). Indeed his presence has been large and multitudinous and this Festschrift celebrates his 65th Birthday with numerous contributions coming from the mathematics, philosophy and mathematics education communities around the world.

Theories of Mathematics Education

A new book, entitled Theories of Mathematics Education, is about to be published by Springer (due October 2009). One of the editors, Bharath Sriraman (also editor of The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast) has been kind enough to give me permission to post the book cover and the table of contents here on my blog. Thanks, Bharath!

Looking at the table of contents is enough to make me believe that this is definitely going to be an important book, and it will make an impact on our field of research! If you won’t take my word for it, please take the time to read through the table of contents yourself:

Theories of Mathematics Education – TOC

I especially like the way it is built up, with introductions and commentaries to all the parts of the book. This will give the reader a feeling of how the field has evolved, and how it is still in a process of evolving.

The publisher has given the following description of the book:

This inaugural book in the new series Advances in Mathematics Education is the most up to date, comprehensive and avant garde treatment of Theories of Mathematics Education which use two highly acclaimed ZDM special issues on theories of mathematics education (issue 6/2005 and issue 1/2006), as a point of departure. Historically grounded in the Theories of Mathematics Education (TME group) revived by the book editors at the 29th Annual PME meeting in Melbourne and using the unique style of preface-chapter-commentary, this volume consist of contributions from leading thinkers in mathematics education who have worked on theory building.

This book is as much summative and synthetic as well as forward-looking by highlighting theories from psychology, philosophy and social sciences that continue to influence theory building. In addition a significant portion of the book includes newer developments in areas within mathematics education such as complexity theory, neurosciences, modeling, critical theory, feminist theory, social justice theory and networking theories. The 19 parts, 17 prefaces and 23 commentaries synergize the efforts of over 50 contributing authors scattered across the globe that are active in the ongoing work on theory development in mathematics education.

You might also be interested in taking a look at the cover of the book

Theories of Mathematics Education – Cover

To me, at least, this is definitely a book I am looking forward to read. And after all, October is not that far away 🙂

International Handbook of Research on Teachers and Teaching

Springer has published a new and interesting book: International Handbook of Research on Teachers and Teaching. This handbook has been edited by Lawrence J. Saha and A. Gary Dworkin, and it is a huge book of 1200 pages. Although the book is concerned with research on teachers and teaching in general, it should be interesting to researchers within the field of mathematics education as well. It also contains a chapter that is concerned with mathematics teaching in particular. Here is a copy of the publisher’s info about the book:

  • This book takes into account new research on both teachers and the nature of teaching
  • Includes over 70 completely new and original articles covering many aspects of what we know about the teaching profession and about classroom teaching
  • Treats teachers and teaching from a comparative perspective, highlighting similarities and differences across countries
  • Addresses the role of culture in understanding variations in teaching practices
  • Discusses both the changing levels of accountability for teachers and its effects

The International Handbook of Research on Teachers and Teaching provides a fresh look at the ever changing nature of the teaching profession throughout the world. This collection of over 70 original articles addresses a wide range of issues that are relevant for understanding the present educational climate in which the accountability of teachers and the standardized testing of students have become dominant.

The international collection of authors brings to the handbook a breadth of knowledge and experience about the teaching profession and a wealth of material across a number of comparative dimensions, such as between developed and developing countries and between Eastern and Western cultures. In addition, many articles address the emerging challenges to education and to the lives of teachers which are brought about by the globalization trends of the 21st Century.

What’s math got to do with it?

Jo Boaler is a well known scholar within the field of mathematics education research, and she has written several books and articles related to the teaching and learning of mathematics. On June 30, a book called “What’s Math Got to Do with It?: How Parents and Teachers Can Help Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject” will be released. I have read previous books and articles that Boaler has written, and I have even had the privilege of attending one of her lectures (at ICME-10 in Copenhagen), so I am sure this book will also be worth reading! Here is a copy of the product description from Amazon:

A recent assessment of mathematics performance around the world ranked the United States twenty-eighth out of forty countries in the study. When the level of spending was taken into account, we sank to the very bottom of the list. We are falling rapidly behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to math education—and the consequences are dire.

In this straightforward and inspiring book, Jo Boaler, a professor of mathematics education at Stanford for nine years, outlines concrete solutions that can change things for the better, including classroom approaches, essential strategies for students, and advice for parents. This is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the mathematical and scientific future of our country.

Concept mapping in mathematics

Springer has published a new book about Concept Mapping in Mathematics. The book has been edited by Karoline Afamasaga-Fuata’i. A concept map is simply a kind of diagram that displays the relationships between concepts. The idea was originally developed by Joseph Novak in the 1970s, and Novak, in turn, based hihs work on the theories of David Ausubel. I haven’t read the book yet, but it sure sounds like an interesting book! Here is the publisher’s description of the book:

Concept Mapping in Mathematics: Research into Practice is the first comprehensive book on concept mapping in mathematics. It provides the reader with an understanding of how the meta-cognitive tool, namely, hierarchical concept maps, and the process of concept mapping can be used innovatively and strategically to improve planning, teaching, learning, and assessment at different educational levels. This collection of research articles examines the usefulness of concept maps in the educational setting, with applications and examples ranging from primary grade classrooms through secondary mathematics to pre-service teacher education, undergraduate mathematics and post-graduate mathematics education. A second meta-cognitive tool, called vee diagrams, is also critically examined by two authors, particularly its value in improving mathematical problem solving.

The theoretical underpinnings of concept mapping and of the studies in the book include Ausubel’s cognitive theory of meaningful learning, constructivist and Vygotskian psychology to name a few. There is evidence which suggests that students’ mathematical literacy and problem solving skills can be enhanced through students collaborating and interacting as they work, discuss and communicate mathematically. This book proposes the meta-cognitive strategy of concept mapping as one viable means of promoting, communicating and explicating students’ mathematical thinking and reasoning publicly in a social setting as they engage in mathematical dialogues and discussions.

Concept Mapping in Mathematics: Research into Practice is of interest to researchers, graduate students, teacher educators and professionals in mathematics education.

The Language of Mathematics

Bill Barton has written a book called The Language of Mathematics, which has been published by Springer recently. The connection between mathematics and language has been discussed a lot by others before, and this appears to be a nice contribution to this discussion. The book is written for researchers, graduate students and teachers of mathematics education. Unfortunately, I haven’t got this book myself (yet), so I can only provide you with a copy of the publisher’s description of it:

The Language of Mathematics: Telling Mathematical Tales emerges from several contemporary concerns in mathematics, language, and mathematics education, but takes a different stance with respect to language. Rather than investigating the way language or culture impacts mathematics and how it is learned, this book begins by examining different languages and how they express mathematical ideas. The picture of mathematics that emerges is of a subject that is much more contingent, relative, and subject to human experience than is usually accepted. Barton’s thesis takes the idea of mathematics as a human creation, and, using the evidence from language, comes to more radical conclusions than usual.

Everyday mathematical ideas are expressed quite differently in different languages. Variety occurs in the way languages express numbers, describe position, categorise patterns, as well as in the grammar of mathematical discourse. The first part of The Language of Mathematics: Telling Mathematical Tales explores these differences and thus illustrates the possibility of different mathematical worlds. This section both provides evidence of language difference with respect to mathematic talk and also demonstrates the congruence between mathematics as we know it and the English language. Other languages are not so congruent.

Part II discusses what this means for mathematics and argues for alternative answers to conventional questions about mathematics: where it comes from, how it develops, what it does and what it means. The notion that mathematics is the same for everyone, that it is an expression of universal human thought, is challenged. In addition, the relationship between language and mathematical thought is used to argue that the mathematical creativity embedded in minority languages should continue to be explored

The final section explores implications for mathematics education, discussing the consequences for the ways in which we learn and teach mathematics. The Language of Mathematics: Telling Mathematical Tales will appeal to those interested in exploring the nature of mathematics, mathematics educators, researchers and graduate students of mathematics education.

Challenging Mathematics in and Beyond the Classroom

Springer has published a new book related to mathematics education. The book has been entitled Challenging Mathematics In and Beyond the Classroom, and it is edited by Edward J. Barbeau and Peter J. Taylor. Here is a copy of the publisher’s description of the book:

The last two decades have seen significant innovation both in classroom teaching and in the public presentation of mathematics. Much of this has centered on the use of games, puzzles and investigations designed to capture interest, challenge the intellect and encourage a more robust understanding of mathematical ideas and processes. ICMI Study 16 was commissioned to review these developments and describe experiences around the globe in different contexts, systematize the area, examine the effectiveness of the use of challenges and set the stage for future study and development. A prestigious group of international researchers, with collective experience with national and international contests, classroom and general contests and in finding a place for mathematics in the public arena, contributed to this effort. The result, Challenging Mathematics In and Beyond the Classroom, deals with challenges for both gifted as regular students, and with building public interest in appreciation of mathematics.

Gem #7: Dewey’s "Democracy and education"

Yesterday, I mentioned John Dewey in my post about the latest issue of Journal of Curriculum Studies. This gave me an idea, and as a result I figured out that it would have been nice to add a work by Dewey in my gem-series. I know, it is not a famous book of mathematics or mathematics education, but Dewey’s theories have had great influence in educational research in general, and also in research in mathematics education. Therefore, I am happy to present today’s gem: “Democracy and Education”, by John Dewey. As usual, you can read it below, or download the pdf. Happy reading!

John Dewey – Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education

Gem #6: Napier’s logarithms

John Napier (1550-1617) John Napier (1550-1617) was a Scottish mathematician. He is most famous for having invented logarithms, and today’s featured book is precisely about that. Napier’s book is entitled “The construction of the wonderful canon of logarithms”, and it is an English translation of the original Latin book. The book is available as Flip Book, or you could download the PDF. You could also start reading it below, without leaving this blog 🙂

Napier’s wonderful world of logarithms