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Mathematical education is recognized internationally as central to society. The teaching of mathematics begins at a young age, because basic mathematical concepts are at the heart of both personal and social development. There is no doubt that issues connected with mathematics education need to be at the center of attention of political leaders, educationalists the general community, and, of course, parents and teachers.

Teaching mathematics is important both for supporting the development of the child and for solving critical problems in a global society.

Number sense, numerical literacy, spatial abilities and other fundamental skills and concepts of mathematics, are critical to social and personal growth and understanding. By means of it, mathematical knowledge gained with the help of teachers can favour the pupils with logical thinking and reasoning, which aids the conduct of dialogue and negotiation. In this way, mathematics supports ethical behavior, especially understanding human rights and obligations. The ability to organize and use data is valuable in almost all spheres of individual and social life. The search for solutions promotes creativity, flexibility, and adaptation to new situations, and succes in finding (multiple) solutions supports the development of self-esteem.

The quality of teaching and learning mathematics depends on many elements, affected and determined by each other. While many factors, such as social structures of inequity and diversity, are seemingly beyond the remit of the individual teacher, he or she remains a central element, responsible for what is going on during lessons in their classroom. Teachers must understand their role, both within the classroom, and as a part of larger social and political structures. They must blend their interactions with pupils and their understanding of mathematical content objectives with their own ethical and moral commitments in order to effect change in society.

Teacher-training in mathematics goes far beyond subject-specific and pedagogical content. It connects with many other realms: psychology (creation of concepts, emotions, motivations, interactions, ...), linguistics (communications, language in learning and teaching mathematics, symbol creation and its understanding, ...), socio-cultural theory (ethno-mathematics, equity and diversity, ...), history and epistemology (developments of mathematical concepts, historical obstacles in understanding mathematical concepts, ...), technology (application of technology in mathematics, using computers in teaching mathematics, ...), and so on.

Few people enter the field of teaching with a comprehension of the complexity that such work entails. The education of the teachers of the future, and the ongoing professional development of practicing teachers must help them to negotiate these complexities and to reconcile the potential conflicts between the realities of teaching and their own personal moral and professional commitments.

The CME-Conference is designed as a forum for discussions and as a common working space around any issues concerning the work of mathematics' teachers, with a particular emphasis on the teaching of mathematics to children ages 3-16. It will support the development of teaching and learning mathematics: not only posing questions, but also looking for solutions. In particular, the work of the conference will be focused around following issues:
  1. Mathematics as a school subject - conceptions of school mathematics at different educational levels, aims of teaching mathematics, mathematical education for individual development and for social needs (expectations), curriculum of school mathematics in different countries, ...
  2. Teacher-training - forms and methods of specialist education, experiments with modern educational environments for learning mathematics, mathematical content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and teachers' competences, teachers' personal philosophies about mathematics, communication and collaboration in teacher's education, theoretical background of teacher- training...
  3. Teachers' work - the essence of the classroom activity, teachers' style and knowledge on teaching, professional identity (teachers' role and place in school, region and society), collaborative research (researchers and teachers), classroom usage of technology, examples of innovation of teacher's practice,...
  4. Learning mathematics - a child as an individual self and learners as members of communities; rules of forming concepts, perceiving and understanding relations and regularities, building algorithms, working with pupils on various levels (gifted children, children with special needs), the teacher's view on students' knowledge, beliefs or attitudes, emotions and motivation in learning mathematics, manuals and books that support learning mathematics, assessment and preparation for exams, ...
This list is only the beginning. We anticipate that social and scientific development will create new problems and will stimulate the search for new solutions.

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