The IV International Symposium on Educational Mathematics (SIME IV) took place in the Faculty of Sciences of the Research City of the University of Costa Rica, located in San José, Costa Rica, from February 26 to March 1, 2019. This event brings together researchers and the general public interested in the development and research of Educational Mathematics. It is important to note that it is organized every two years, by the Center for Research in Pure and Applied Mathematics (CIMPA) and the Atlantic Headquarters of the University of Costa Rica, with the collaboration of professors from the School of Mathematics of this University.
In this edition, it counted with the participation of researchers from Europe, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as from South America, among others. There were 4 lectures, 9 workshops and 30 short papers. All these works and contributions aimed at exchanging good educational practices regarding the teaching and learning of Mathematics, with topics of general interest such as the development of professional skills, didactics of mathematics, teaching through problems, evaluation of learning, experiences teachers, promotion of complex thinking, training of trainers, new didactic proposals, use of information and communication technologies and link teaching-research.
The ISC-ROLAC was widely represented at the event with several papers and workshops described below:
Dr. Manuel Limonta (Director of the Regional Office), was in charge of a presentation where he made known this organization, its presence in the Region, international purposes and interests, its objectives or pillars and the new transformations for the strengthening of Science in the world. In particular, for Latin America and the Caribbean, Dr. Limonta explained to the participants what are the priorities or lines of maximum attention for the coming years and defined by a Committee of leading scientists in the region. Among others, such as risks and disasters, biodiversity, renewable energies, urban health and as a priority theme, due to its importance and transversality, the Teaching of Mathematics.
The presentation of Dr. Lilliam Álvarez (from the Cuban Academy of Sciences and member of the ISC-ROLAC Regional Committee) dealt with the need to integrate the two guilds: Mathematics teachers and scientific researchers of this science. The doctor emphasized that encouraging Mathematics, with a gender perspective to also encourage girls to study this career, is essential to achieve the sustainable development to which all countries committed to the 2030 Agenda aspire.
Dr. Elizabeth Rincon (Professor Emeritus of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) presented to the audience an account of the experiences of workshops on solving mathematical problems taught to teachers at the basic level, which have been developed by ISC-ROLAC since 2011 in El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Honduras. An exemplification was made of what is the strategy to achieve better prepared teachers to teach Mathematics at all levels.
The teachers Norma Lemus and Ana Argueta (El Salvador) developed an interesting and very popular and participative Workshop on Learning the functions by solving problems, proposal of the new Salvadoran curriculum for learning the functions by solving problems, which is currently in implementation, with proposals for methodologies, with the intention that students achieve the development of fundamental skills, for which they rely on the design of new educational materials, textbooks through a novel presentation of lessons that lead to the best learning of the subject.
In addition to the academic presentations, Dr. Manuel Limonta, Director of ISC-ROLAC, developed an intense agenda of conversations with academic authorities of Costa Rica, among which the exchange with Dr. Trejos, dean of the Faculty of Sciences of the UCR with a view to strengthen the strategy to promote the Teaching of Mathematics in Central America and the Caribbean, for which it was agreed to extend an invitation to an upcoming meeting of experts in Mathematics that will take place at the headquarters in San Salvador.
Given the importance of continuing to promote the activities that contribute to the development of Mathematics in the Caribbean, in the second semester of this year, 2019, ICS-ROLAC will support the First International Congress of Mathematics (CIMA / UASD) to be held in the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, where it is intended to bring together academics and teachers interested in sharing their experiences and scientific results in the area. Within the framework of this congress, the Women’s Mathematics Workshop in Latin America and the Caribbean will be held, which already has several editions, with the support of the Mathematical Women’s Committee of the International Union of Mathematics.