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Mathematics Education

Alan J. Bishop, editor
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
4 vol,1776
Major Themes in Education
[Reviewed by
Charles Ashbacher
, on

The probability that any one person would be interested in all the papers contained in these four volumes is very near zero. However, the probability that any person interested in mathematics education will not find a paper worth reading is zero out to a large number of decimal places. The papers are academic in structure and cover the entire spectrum and context of how math is learned and taught. Everything from the philosophical side of what mathematics objects are to how potential teachers of mathematics should be trained is covered.

The subtitles of the four volumes are:

  1. Mathematics, mathematics education and the curriculum
  2. Mathematics teachers and teaching
  3. Mathematics learners and learning
  4. The contexts of mathematics education

The coverage is also global in nature, for example there are the papers “Western Mathematics: The secret weapon of cultural imperialism” by Alan J. Bishop and “Conditions and Strategies for Emancipatory Mathematics Education in Undeveloped Countries” by Paulus Gerdes.

As an occasional teacher of a class designed for future mathematics educators, I have given projects where the students were required to write a research paper about some aspect of the teaching of mathematics. If I were to do so again I would direct them to this book. For if an article about their selected topic of interest is not in this collection, then the probability that their topic is worth studying is also zero out to a large number of decimal places.

Charles Ashbacher splits his time between consulting with industry in projects involving math and computers, teaching college classes and co-editing The Journal of Recreational Mathematics. In his spare time, he reads about these things and helps his daughter in her lawn care business.

Volume I: Mathematics, Mathematics Education, and the Curriculum

Part 1: Mathematics and Mathematics Education
(a) Histories of Mathematics
(b) Conceptions of Mathematics from an Educational Standpoint
(c) Culture, Mathematics, and Mathematics Education
(d) Society, Technology, and Mathematics Education

Part 2: Education and the Mathematics Curriculum
(e) Goals of Mathematics Education
(f) Mathematics Curricula in Schools
(g) Mathematics Curricula at Tertiary and Vocational Levels
(h) Assessment, Evaluation, and the Mathematics Curriculum

Volume II: Mathematics Teachers and Teaching

Part 1: Mathematics Teachers
(a) Mathematics Teachers’ Knowledge
(b) Mathematics Teachers’ Beliefs, Attitudes, and Values
(c) Pre-Service Mathematics Teacher Education
(d) Mathematics Teachers’ Professional Development

Part 2: Teaching Mathematics
(e) Issues in Teaching Mathematical Topics
(f) Pedagogical Theories and Practices
(g) Classroom Cultures and Interactions
(h) Teaching and Assessing
(i) Teachers as Researchers

Volume III: Mathematics Learners and Learning

Part 1: Mathematics Learners
(a) School Learners
(b) Adult Learners
(c) Disadvantaged and Marginalized Learners
(d) Gifted Learners
(e) Gender Issues
(f) Cultural Issues

Part 2: Learning Mathematics
(g) Issues in Learning Mathematical Topics
(h) Theories of Learning Mathematics
(i) Language, Visualization, and Mathematics Learning
(j) Beliefs and Affective Aspects of Learning Mathematics

Volume IV: The Contexts of Mathematics Education

Part 1: Societal and Cultural Contexts
(a) Parental and Community Aspects
(b) Numeracies and Mathematics Education
(c) Technologies and Mathematics Education
(d) International Comparisons of Mathematics Achievement

Part 2: Research and Theoretical Contexts
(e) Developments in Research Approaches
(f) Histories of Mathematics Education
(g) Philosophies of Mathematics Education
(h) Theories in Mathematics Education
(i) International Cooperation in Mathematics Education Research
(j) Globalization, Post-Colonialism, and Critical Perspectives