id: 06160642
dt: a
an: 2013c.00045
au: Vanpaemel, Geert; De Bock, Dirk; Verschaffel, Lieven
ti: Defining modern mathematics: Willy Servais (1913‒1979) and mathematical
curriculum reform in Belgium.
so: Bjarnadóttir, Kristín (ed.) et al., “Dig where you stand" 2.
Proceedings of the second “International conference on the history of
mathematics education", New University of Lisbon, Portugal, October
2‒5, 2011. Lisbon: UIED, Unidade de Investigação Educação e
Desenvolvimento; Caparica: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de
Ciência e Tecnologia (ISBN 978-989-97487-2-9/pbk). 485-505 (2012).
py: 2012
pu: Lisbon: UIED, Unidade de Investigação Educação e Desenvolvimento;
Caparica: Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciência e
Tecnologia
la: EN
cc: A30 D30
ut: modern mathematics; educational reforms; curricula
ci:
li:
ab: Summary: The new math reform which swept Europe in the 1960’s was in a
significant way influenced by the Commission Internationale pour
l’Étude et l’Amélioration de l’Enseignement des Mathématiques.
Since its foundation in 1952 the CIEAEM held annual meetings where
mathematicians, logicians and psychologists discussed the direction of
the modernization process. Several Belgian mathematicians played a
prominent role in the CIEAEM, in particular Willy Servais and Georges
Papy. In particular, Papy has been recognized as a leading, if not
uncontested, architect of the new mathematical curriculum. Much less is
known about Willy Servais, who for more than twenty years acted as
secretary of CIEAEM. In this paper we retrace the career of Servais
against the background of the mathematical curriculum reform in
Belgium. We reconstruct his views on the modernization of the
mathematical curriculum, his work on mathematical models and his
concern about the cultural role of mathematics in the modern world. Our
analysis shows that the need for an abstract, unified mathematics (as
expressed in Papy’s work) was not a dominant theme in the early
1950’s debates in Belgium. Much more attention was given to the
creation of teaching aids and the introduction of possible new topics
such as probability theory, statistics or electrical technology. We
further draw attention to the wider issues involved in the reform and
the divergent views of mathematicians and school psychologists in
Belgium.
rv: