A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR OF HPM

Welcome to Newsletter 95!

One of the fascinating aspects of leading an “academic life” is the diversity of individuals with whom I come into contact.  Indeed, non-academics have this same experience, but I find that in meeting and engaging with so many different people that I am challenged to think differently about a range of issues – and I know that I grow because of it.  And, this notion has been on my mind quite a bit lately, as I have been living and working in Germany – whose academic system is quite different from that in my small corner of the world in Tallahassee, Florida.  Still, I would like to think that the experiences I have had and the students, colleagues, and new friends I have met this summer will inevitably help me to be a better scholar, colleague, and friend.

Why am I rambling on about this?  While working at the University of Siegen, I have had the pleasure to teach a reading course on “History of Mathematics in Mathematics Education” – and during that course I feel like many of my HPM friends have been there in the course with me and my 15 students.  We have read articles by Abraham Arcavi and his colleagues, Adriano Demattè, Michael N. Fried, Uffe Thomas Jankvist, David Pengelleny, and Man-Keung Siu.  We have accessed excerpts and materials by Michael Glaubitz, Iris Gulikers and Klaske Blom, Tinne Hoff Kjeldsen and her colleagues, Peter Ransom, and Costas Tzanakis.  Throughout the course, my students have impressed me with their struggle to learn about another aspect of their chosen profession: the potential for history of mathematics to inform their future teaching.  Yet, it is also quite clear to me that I would not be able to share this dimension of mathematics education with my students if it were not for the HPM community – of scholars and practitioners alike – and all that it affords in not just my scholarly work, but in my work with students.

It is my hope then, as you read about the numerous HPM-related activities taking place over the next year that are highlighted in this newsletter, that you consider ways in which you can add to our community.  In particular, I bring to your attention the 8th European Summer University on History and Epistemology in Mathematics Education (ESU-8), which will take place in Oslo, Norway from 20 – 24 July 2018.  One of the aims of the ESUs is “to give the opportunity to mathematics teachers, educators and researchers to share their teaching ideas and classroom experience related to this perspective.”  I highlight this aim (of the three; see the announcement of ESU-8 in this newsletter) because it is again part of my psyche this summer: sharing teaching ideas, or at least the potential for a variety of ways in which history of mathematics might be used by classroom teachers, with my students this summer would not have been possible without my own participation in meetings / conferences such as the ESUs, and all that I have learned from them over the last decade.  I encourage you to consider submitting a proposal for this important meeting, in which you can share your ideas (and, if appropriate, outcomes of research you have conducted on the implementation of those ideas in practice).

With regard to other HPM business, I hope to attend to several HPM Group matters in the coming months. (I am – as usual – woefully behind!)  These include:

  1. Contacting those of you who were involved in the research dossier work during Luis Radford’s term as Chair, to determine how we might move forward on that initiative for those who are interested.
  2. Summarizing and communicating the Advisory Board members’ discussion of a proposal to create an HPM Journal (proposed by Evelyne Barbin and David Pengelley).
  3. Creating an ad hoc committee of Advisory Board members interested in helping me to facilitate a “Practitioner’s Corner” feature of the HPM Newsletter (see NL 94 for an example).

Also, please join me in recognizing the inaugural members of the newly-established Honorary Advisory Board (HAdB):

Abraham Arcavi Abdellah El Idrissi

Hans Niels Jahnke

Manfred Kronfellner

Chris Weeks

I thank these colleagues for their service to the HPM community, and for their time on the HPM Advisory Board!

In closing, I ask for your support and active participation in the activities of HPM.  If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, please let me know (kclark@fsu.edu).

Kathy Clark

HPM Chair

Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida, USA

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