By Sabine Meinck
On the 24th – 31st of July 2016, the University of Hamburg hosted the biggest conference on mathematics didactics worldwide: the 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME), and we had the pleasure to participate! I just love the inspiring atmosphere of international research conferences, with this one certainly having left a lasting impression. The conference attracts more than 3500 participants and takes place once every four years.
My colleagues, Mr Oliver Neuschmidt, Ms Milena Taneva and I were invited to deliver two workshops. We introduced IEA TIMSS and IEA TEDS-M, illustrating how the data from these studies can be used for research relating to the didactics of mathematics. Workshop participants were enthused about the opportunities this data presents for their research interests.
ICME-13 was extraordinarily well structured. With a good variety of keynote speeches, lectures, discussion groups, topic study groups, and workshops, the event succeeded in bringing together participants from all over the world with similar research interests, encouraging critical dialogue and collaboration initiatives. My personal highlights of the conference were: the presentation by Prof. Dr Kristina Reiss (Technical University of Munich), promoting mixed methods using large-scale assessment data; the keynote speech by Dr Vijay Reddy (National Research Coordinator of IEA TIMSS in South Africa), describing the value of TIMSS for enhancing their national education system; the lecture by Prof. Dr Sigrid Blömeke (CEMO) on the extended use of TEDS-M; and last but not least, the reception in our beautiful town hall!
In my view, the conference represented a perfect platform to familiarize international mathematics researchers with IEA mathematics-related studies. I’m already considering attending the next ICME in 2020 – this one sadly not being in my hometown.
Dr Sabine Meinck is Head of the Research, Analysis & Sampling Unit at the IEA.