Academics, state administrators and mathematics educators from around the world will converge at the University of Colorado Boulder to tackle learning progressions in mathematics and their design and use in today’s classrooms at the third International Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) Conference.
The Sept. 23-25 event is co-hosted by CU-Boulder’s School of Education and the Freudenthal Institute USA. Various sessions will explore research on learning progressions and the design of instructional sequences.
Not only must teachers make mathematics relevant and accessible to students, they also must ensure that students learn challenging and substantive content detailed in the Colorado State Content Standards and the recently adopted Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
“The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics is based on research regarding learning trajectories in mathematics,” said CU-Boulder Assistant Professor David Webb, the conference director. “The widespread adoption of the Common Core by 40-plus states (including Colorado) presents a real need for how teachers are going to design and enact learning trajectories in their own classrooms. The RME conference fills a void that typical professional development cannot offer.
“Very few conferences in math education can provide this combination of international perspectives at this personalized level of interaction. We keep the attendance at about 100 people to encourage discussions between noteworthy teachers and researchers who have had a significant impact on mathematics education.”
District, state and regional administrators, research faculty, lead teachers and professional developers representing North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia will present or participate in sessions to support the understanding of mathematics from early elementary education through undergraduate levels.
The plenary sessions are intended to highlight the intersection of theory and practice and describe materials and activities designed to promote and assess students’ understanding of mathematics. There also will be 90-minute interactive breakout sessions to encourage engagement with mathematics problems and activities, review assessment tasks and student work, and design and adapt learning trajectories.
RME is a widely respected approach to mathematics education that has evolved from the work of the Dutch mathematician Hans Freudenthal during the past 30 years and is applied to curriculum design, assessment and instruction.