Foreword
This second volume of papers on the work of mathematicians in education
reform continue s to underscore the range and intensity of mathematicians'
involvement in educational reform efforts. A s with volume I of Mathemati-
cians and Education Reform, Proceedings of the July 6-8, 1988 Workshop, we
have organized the articles into two sections, "Projects" and "Issues and Reac-
tions." Making the final call for categorizing an article is sometimes a subtle
choice. Whil e project s ar e undertaken t o addres s a problem o r need , th e
thoughtful deliberatio n of an issue includes considering how to bring about
change. The dynamics of analyzing a problem, putting ideas into action, and
evaluating the outcome is a very vital and exciting part o f the educational
reform process.
We have included a variety of activities as a means to emphasize the range
of mathematicians ' interest s i n education . Ther e ar e two reasons fo r thi s
approach. First , it highlights that there are many ways for mathematicians to
contribute to improving mathematics education. An d second, it emphasizes
that reform mus t be pursued on many fronts, no t through a single avenue.
Finally, ami d thi s diversit y o f activities , i t i s possible t o discer n commo n
underlying themes which reveal fundamental aspect s of educational work.
Just as one makes a long-time professional commitmen t as a mathemati-
cian, serious educational work requires a sustained investment of time and
energy. Characteristically , immersion in one aspect of education yields un-
expected insights and opportunities for improving other parts of the educa-
tional picture. Deepenin g understanding is acquired through experience in
formulating, testing , an d refining—perhap s eve n abandoning—original no -
tions. Wha t may be most novel about the experience of educational work is
the recognition that college and university mathematics faculty are part of a
much larger community of professional educators and teachers of mathemat-
ics. Definin g share d goals and finding ways to work together to accomplish
these goals is at the core of successful refor m in mathematics education.
Naomi D. Fisher
University of Illinois at Chicago
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