UNICEF and Computerbasedmath.org Announce Major Summit to Reconceptualize Math Education Worldwide

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© UNICEF/NYHQ2005-2267/GIACOMO PIROZZI

Oxford, United Kingdom—19 September 2013—computerbasedmath.org announced today a high-level summit in collaboration with UNICEF at its headquarters in New York November 21–22, 2013, to kick-start global dialogue and action on math education. By bringing together a broad cross section of leaders from industry, technology, education, and governments from a range of countries, the summit will address the question:How do we deliver improved life opportunities worldwide—including for the most disadvantaged children—by cooperating on a fundamental rethink of the math curriculum?

According to Josephine Bourne, UNICEF Chief of Education, “Good quality education is both a right and one of the best investments a country can make in its own future. Yet globally, there are 57 million children out of school and an estimated 250 million 4th grade children who cannot read. To that end, UNICEF supports innovative education programs to reach the most vulnerable children and help them reach their full learning potential, including improving learning outcomes in math.”

“Getting the right math skills is key to life-chances wherever you are in the world,” says Conrad Wolfram, founder of computerbasedmath.org. “It’s exciting that this is high on UNICEF’s agenda—demonstrated by their collaboration with us on our third Computer-Based Math™ Summit.”

Central to the worldwide mission of computerbasedmath.org is the creation of new curricula and materials from the ground up that reflect fundamental changes in the application of mathematics outside education.

For developing countries—where learning outcomes can be particularly low—approaches that can be proven to rapidly improve the learning achievement of students are in short supply. These real-world changes have been brought about by the increased availability of computers and mathematical software, which in turn requires reconceptualizing the outcomes, delivery, and, critically, the subject matter of math in education.

“Computers have the power to liberate math from calculating, raising its use to new levels—exactly what’s happened outside education,” says Conrad Wolfram. “Mimic this real world of math, and your education will become more conceptual, more practical, and more motivational.”

Earlier this year the Computer-Based Math™ movement announced its first country partner: Estonia.

Jaak Aaviksoo, Minister of Education and Research, Estonia, said, “In the last century, we led the world in connecting classrooms to the internet. Now we want to lead the world in rethinking education in the technology-driven world.”

Estonia joins a large number of countries, states, and organizations voicing interest in the Computer-Based Math™ education approach.

To find out more, visit: https://www.computerbasedmath.org/events/education-summit-newyork-2013.

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