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Mathematics Teaching-Research Journal (MTRJ) on line:
www.hostos.cuny.edu/MTRJ

The editorial team of the Mathematics Teaching Research Journal on line informs with great sadness about passing away of one of its founding editors, VRUNDA PRABHU 1961- 2013. Her creative spirit will always be with us.

Message to Mathematics Teacher-Researchers of the World;

Colleagues Teacher-Researchers of Mathematics;

Our profession, Mathematics Teaching-Research is standing in front of an unusual responsibility/opportunity to impact mathematics teaching and learning in US and possibly, in the World through the introduction of the Common Core State Standards(CCSM) in Mathematics in 2014 in the nation. Common Core Standards in Mathematics represent an unusual integration of research, curriculum development and teaching practice. The aim of this integration is to provide tools with the help of which mathematics teachers could successfully address successes, challenges and needs of every student in the class while fulfill the dream of “Mathematics for all”.

Whenever there is an integration of research and teaching, the framework of teaching-research is generally most straightforward. Indeed, the success of CCSS in Mathematics is conditioned on understanding of two mutually connected constructs, that of a Learning Trajectory (research construct) and that of Adaptive Instruction (teaching construct) together with the relationship between the two. The relationship between the two turns out to be standard Teaching-Research NYCity model’s relationship that on one hand involves the application of research to classroom teaching, and on the other hand, it is motivated by the research needed for successful development of the teaching “Mathematics for All.”

Analysis of the requirements of the adaptive instruction for the success of CCSS approach show its closeness with the standard teaching-research classroom activity: “For that [success] to happen, teachers are going to have to find ways to attend more closely and regularly to each of their students during instruction to determine where they are in their progress toward meeting the standards, and the kinds of problems they might be having along the way. Then teachers must use that information to decide what to do to help each student continue to progress, to provide students with feedback, and help them overcome their particular problems to get back on a path toward success. This is what is known as adaptive instruction and it is what practice must look like in a standards-based system.” Consortium of Public Research in Education, CPRE (Daro et al. 2011).

Every of these steps of adaptive instruction is in the “tool box” of a teacher-researcher whose aim is to improve student learning (…). Moreover, the same report continues:

“Teachers must receive extensive training in mathematics education research on the mathematics concepts that they teach so that they can better understand the evidence in student work (from OGAP-like probes or their mathematics program) and its implications for instruction. They need training and ongoing support to help capitalize on their mathematics program’s materials, or supplement them as evidence suggests and help make research based instructional decisions.”

The words above outline the scope of the transformation of teachers‘ pedagogy from the standard one to one based on research and evidence. In other words, what is required for the success of CCSS in Mathematics is the transformation of teachers into teacher-researchers on the national scale.

And that is, colleagues, our opportunity to transform teaching on a large scale.
Are we prepared to do it, to assume this responsibility?

MATHEMATICS TEACHING-RESEARCH JOURNAL ONLINE

Winter 2013/2014
Volume 6 N 4

List of Content

Brian Evans
Mathematics Education in Singapore: How can Mathematics Education in Singapore
inform Mathematics Education in US

Vrunda Prabhu and Bronislaw Czarnocha
Democratizing Mathematical Creativity Through Koestler’s Bisociation Theory

William Baker and Bronislaw Czarnocha
The "act of creation" of Koestler & theories of learning in math education research

Su Liang
Middle-grades Mathematics Classrooms Instruction in China: A Case Study

Editorial

The Winter 2013/2014 issue of the Mathematics Teaching-Research Journal on line further explores the qualities of Chinese teaching and learning mathematics. To complement the presentations of Chinese mathematics teachers published in the October 2013 issue of mtrj, Brian Evans discusses here the relationship between organization of mathematics education in Singapore, one of the top achieving nations on international tests PISA and TIMSS, and in US. Su Liang on the other hand looks into details of Chinese mathematics classrooms to demonstrate the presence of higher order thinking amongst the middle school students.

The second issue brought forward in this V6 N4 of MTRJ on line is the discovery of Arthur Koestler’s theory of the Act of Creation (1964) for mathematics education. This discovery was made by our colleague co-editor of MTRJ, Vrunda Prabhu, before she passed away. As she was participating in the collaborative CUNY/C3IRG 7 grantsupported teaching experiment on problem solving in 2010/2011, she also created her special version of the project introducing Koestler’s bisociation into instruction. However only recently, while preparing a Mathematics Teaching-Research book for the Sense publisher, we realized the depth and importance of Prabhu’s discovery of Koestler for mathematics education. The short two papers are the beginning of the exploration of mathematics creativity through a new and bright lens, that of bisociation, of the Aha moment. It is exciting to discover that our colleagues from computer creativity are also focusing on Koestler’s formulation as promising the creative mining of the data.

Could creativity become the main craft of the 21st century?

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