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Professor Nagel participates in math and democracy symposium

March 04, 2009

Nancy Nagel, professor of education:

Nagel participated in an international symposium organized by the Institute for Democracy from Mathematics (Oxford) at Windsor Castle in January.  The goal of the symposium was to examine the connection between mathematics teaching and democratic education.  Thirty professors and ambassadors, who represented 11 countries, discussed the problem of the high expectations held for those who excel in mathematics and how this results in lesser expectations for all other students. Presentations at the symposium posed that the most appropriate key to change is through the teaching of mathematics. Implementing Socratic methods of discussion were suggested as one model to encourage mathematical communication and learning. The symposium was  sponsored by the Qatar Foundation.

“I found it highly interesting to listen to presentations and discuss mathematics education with faculty, ambassadors, and the educational representatives for the Prince of Jordan and for the Prince of Wales,” Nagel said. “Discussions with participants from nine countries made it clear that there is widespread concern about mathematics education and of the need to collaborate on successful educational models to help inform each other and better prepare all students.”