The Faculty of Education of the University of Macau and the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, Macau SAR (DSEJ; 澳門特別行政區教育暨青年局) are very pleased to co-host ICMI STUDY 23 conference in 2015 in Macau SAR, China. Under the auspices of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI), this conference will be held in the University of Macau, Macau SAR, China, from June 3 to 7, 2015.
This Study, the twenty-third led by ICMI, addresses for the first time mathematics teaching and learning in the primary school (and pre-school), taking into account international perspectives, socio-cultural diversity and institutional constraints. One of the challenges of designing the first ICMI primary school Study of this kind is the complex nature of mathematics at the early level. For this reason a focus area has been chosen, as central to the discussion, with a number of questions connected to it. The broad area of Whole Number Arithmetic (WNA) including operations and relations and arithmetic word problems form the core content of all primary mathematics curricula. The Study of this core content area is often regarded as foundational for later mathematics learning. However, the principles and main goals of instruction in the foundational concepts and skills in WNA are far from universally agreed upon, and practice varies substantially from country to country. An ICMI Study that provides a meta-level analysis and synthesis of what is known about WNA would provide a useful base from which to gauge gaps and silences and an opportunity to learn from the practice of different countries and contexts.