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Colección: La Educación
Número: (119) III
Año: 1994


The decade of the 1980s was ripe with reports sounding the alarm on the decline of the state of the education of youth in the United States (Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy, National Commission of Excellence in Education). Mathematics education was correctly identified as a field in need of serious reform (National Research Council 1989, 1990). The colleges and universities involved in teacher preparation also recognized their necessary role in any successful reform efforts (Holmes Group).

The two largest professional mathematics organizations in the world, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) both considered the warnings seriously. They each responded to the call for mathematics education reform with documents that project a vision for the teaching and learning of mathematics. MAA’s report, A Call For Change: Recommendations for the Mathematical Preparation of Teachers of Mathematics (Leitzel) and NCTM’s two documents, Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM 1989) and Professional Standards for Teaching Mathematics (NCTM 1991) concur that “students ...will develop ‘mathematical power’ only if they are actively involved in doing mathematics at every grade level” (Leitzel xi).

The certification and accreditation organizations for colleges and universities with teacher preparation programs continuously revise their standards. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) both publish standards: Standards, Procedures, and Policies for the Accreditation of Professional Education Units (NCATE) and Standards for State Approval of Teacher Education (NASDTEC). A relatively new organization, founded in 1987 as an outgrowth of the Carnegie Forum, is the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). It is also developing a set of rigorous standards specifying what teachers should know and be able to do and will certify teachers who meet those standards beginning this year.