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Searching for alternatives for New Math in Belgian primary schools. Influence of the Dutch model of Realistic Mathematics Education

Boekbijdrage - Hoofdstuk

We sketch the turbulent history of primary mathematics education in Belgium during the last (half) century. The outline starts with traditional mathematics in the period before and shortly after World War II, an approach that is often, but partly unjustly, labelled as “mechanistic”.Then we focus on the rise of New Math or “modern mathematics” in the 1970s. We briefly discuss its roots and describe how this structural approach, which basically followed the development at the secondary level, was implemented in Belgian primary schools. By the early 1980s, New Math was strongly criticized, which paved the way for its fall during the 1990s. This leads us to the current curricula that are strongly inspired by the Dutch model of Realistic Mathematics Education (RME), while maintaining valuable elements of the strong Belgian tradition in developing pupils’ mental and written calculation skills and even some (minor) New Math accents. We describe in some detail the influence of RME on the different mathematical domains in these curricula, as well as some new challenges that arise on the horizon.
Boek: International reflections on the Netherlands didactics of mathematics:Visions on and experiences with Realistic Mathematics Education
Pagina's: 41 - 61
ISBN:978-3-030-20222-4
Jaar van publicatie:2020