Insights from ICME IV for U.S. Mathematics Education
In December 1979 Izaak Wirszup, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago, submitted a memorandum to the U.S. National Science Foundation outlining recent changes in science and mathematics education programs of the Soviet Union. Based on his extensive studies of Soviet technical and educational literature, Wirszup concluded that graduates of Soviet secondary schools now receive so much more mathematical and scientific training than U.S. students that the gap poses a formidable challenge to American national security. Wirszup’s report soon circulated widely; it was noted by science journalists, and led to major news stories in many cities. These ominous reports of foreign progress in education exacerbated the continuing public criticism of U.S. education, re-awakened memories of earlier studies showing superb performance of Japanese mathematics students but only modest achievement of U.S. young people, and sent many American mathematics educators to the Fourth International Congress on Mathematics Education with a mixture of curiosity and concern about our national effort in mathematics teaching.
KeywordsMathematics Teacher School Mathematics Teacher Burnout Mathematics Major Science Journalist
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Denny, Terry. “River Acres.” In Robert E. Stake and Jack Easley (Eds.) Case Studies in Science Education. university of Illinois, 1978.Google Scholar
- Fey, James T. “Mathematics teaching today: perspectives from three national surveys.” The Mathematics Teacher 72 (1979) 490–504.Google Scholar
- Davis, Robert B.; Romberg, Thomas; Kantowski, Mary Grace; Rachlin, Sid. An Analysis of Mathematics Education in the Soviet Union. Columbus: ERIC Center for Science and Mathematics Education, 1980.Google Scholar
- Smith, Mary Lee. “Fall River.” In Robert E. Stake and Jack Easley (Eds.) Case Studies in Science Education. University of Illinois, 1978.Google Scholar
- Begle, E.G. Critical Variables in Mathematics Education. Washington: Mathematical Association of America, 1979.Google Scholar
- Usiskin, Zalman. “ICME III: What Was It?” The Mathematics Teacher 70 (1977) 436–441.Google Scholar