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Rods, sets and arrows. The rise and fall of modern mathematics in Belgium

Boek - Boek

The introduction of modern mathematics in Belgian secondary schools in September 1968 was one of the most radical education reforms that the country has ever seen. From the very start, the reform was controversial among mathematicians and mathematics educators, and until now, it continues to be considered as either a wonderful experiment or a dramatic failure. This monograph is the first attempt to present a comprehensive overview of the reform in its wider context, and to make a critical assessment of its impact both on the national and the international level. Rods, Sets, and Arrows describes in detail the rise and fall of modern mathematics in Belgium from its early phases driven by the technological optimism of the post-War era until its demise around the end of the twentieth century. It puts the modern mathematics reform in a broad perspective, comparing it to other variants of mathematical instructionmethodologies such as the movement for intuitive geometry, the didactical use of teaching aids, or the Dutch Realistic Mathematics Education alternative. Apart from its central focus on curriculum reform, the book also attempts to uncover some of the political andideological motives behind the modern mathematics movement and its origins in the post-War euphoria for science and mathematics.The Belgian reform was strongly embedded in international movements. Not only were international events, such as the famous Royaumont Seminar in 1959, of the utmost importance for the advancement of the reform in Belgium, but Belgian mathematicians and mathematics teachers also played crucial roles at the international level. These Belgian contributions are still much under-exposed in the scholarly literature. The book focuses on the contributions made by distinct personalities, such as Paul Libois, Willy Servais, Frédérique Lenger, and Georges Papy. In particular, an analysis is offered of the groundbreaking textbook series Mathématique Moderne by Papy, which reshaped the content of secondary school mathematics and heavily influenced national and international debates during the implementation phase of the reform.The book is subdivided into three parts. The first part follows the early reform movement and its many sources of inspiration: The Reform Pedagogy of Ovide Decroly, the Marxist views on man and modern civilization, and the debates on the use of teaching aids within the International Commission for the Study and Improvement of MathematicsTeaching. It ends with the consolidation of reform views at the OEEC and ICMI conferences in Royaumont, Aarhus, Zagreb-Dubrovnik, and Athens. In the second part of the book, the focus is on the work of Georges Papy, his textbook series and the creation of the Belgian Centre for Mathematics Pedagogy in 1961. It also includes an analysis of the many classroom experiments undertaken by Papy and his collaborators. The fall of modern mathematics, starting in the 1980s, and the search for alternatives are discussed in the third and final part. This period coincides with national reform in Belgium, which placed government responsibility for education at the regional level. The book follows the different approaches taken in the aftermath of the modern mathematics reform by the Flemish (Dutch-speaking) Community and the French Community. It is argued that the reaction against the modern mathematics reform may have been instrumental in the genesis of mathematics education asa scholarly field in Belgium.
Aantal pagina's: 302
ISBN:978-3-030-20598-0
Jaar van publicatie:2019