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Critical Issues in Mathematics Education (an MSRI Workshop Series)

This series of workshops addresses key problems in education today. They are designed to engage mathematicians, mathematics education researchers, and K-12 teachers as participants. They provide opportunities for participants to:

  • learn about research and development efforts that can enhance their own work and about the contributions they can make to solving the problems of mathematics education;
  • develop ideas about methods for working on these problems and the nature of evidence used to evaluate different kinds of claims for programs related to the problems;
  • share their own work related to these problems––-e.g., course development, research, teaching, and assessment; and
  • make connections with others concerned with these issues who work in related environments.

Most workshops are held at MSRI and last for several densely scheduled days. Activities include plenary sessions, small group work sessions, working groups, and social time for informal conversation. Approximately 200 people drawn from the communities listed above participate in each workshop. To ensure diversity and relevant expertise, workshop organizers invite participants and also advertise the workshops. They also make an effort to engage those who have worked on different aspects of the problems and in different institutional settings. Special attention is given to inviting mathematicians from a diversity of colleges and universities.

The tenth workshop in this series will be held at MSRI April 3 - 5, 2013 and will address the topic Assessment of Mathematical Proficiencies in the Age of the Common Core


The first nine workshops in this series were:

  1. Assessing Students’ Mathematics Learning: Issues, Costs and Benefits
    March 7-10, 2004, at MSRI

  2. The Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (K-8): Why, What and How?
    May 25-28, 2005, at Asilomar, CA

  3. Raising the floor: Progress and setbacks in the struggle for quality mathematics education for all
    May 7-10, 2006, at MSRI

  4. Critical Issues in Education: Teaching Teachers Mathematics
    May 30- June 1, 2007, at MSRI

  5. Critical Issues in Education: Teaching and Learning Algebra
    May 14-16, 2008, at MSRI

  6. Critical Issues in Education: Teaching Undergraduates Mathematics
    May 11-13, 2009, at MSRI

  7. Reasoning and Sense-Making in the Mathematics Curriculum
    June 07, 2010 to June 09, 2010, at MSRI

  8. The Mathematical Education of Teachers
    May 11, 2011 to May 13, 2011, at MSRI

  9. Teacher education in view of the Common Core
    March 21, 2012 to March 23, 2012, at MSRI

Other education related workshops include

To ensure the intellectual quality of these workshops, MSRI has recruited an Educational Advisory Committee (EAC) from among the country’s most distinguished mathematical scientists and educators, taking care to ensure that a broad variety of views is represented. The members of the EAC serve for fixed terms, and, in the recruitment of new members, especial attention is paid to representing the best current thinking on the fundamental problems facing mathematics education. The current membership in the EAC is available at www.msri.org/web/msri/about-msri/governance-directory/-/listpeople/16