Mathematics Teacher Preparation in Central America and the Caribbean. An Introduction

Angel Ruiz

Abstract This chapter provides a summary of the state of Mathematics teacher’s preparation in Central America and the Caribbean based on four papers presented at a workshop of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction: Capacity and Networking Project, held in Costa Rica in August 2012. The countries considered here are Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. First, a description of the conditions of this region in various international comparative tests of Mathematics is established, as a prelude to offer elements of each country about the general structure of their education systems and the main features of their curricula in school Mathematics; then the initial preparation and professional development of teachers are studied. Finally, graduate programs and research in Mathematics Education are analyzed and, to conclude, the main challenges that these countries face in the current scenario are indicated. Throughout all this work, comparative elements between the four countries are given in the dimensions studied.

Keywords Teacher preparation Mathematics Mathematics education Central America The Caribbean

The second workshop of the Capacity and Networking Project (CANP 2) of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI—www.mathunion. org/icmi/home) was held in San Jose, Costa Rica from August 6 to 17, 2012. This event brought together mathematics educators, mathematicians, university administrators, and elementary and secondary teachers from Central American and the Caribbean. Financial support was received from the International Mathematical Union (IMU) and from the International Council for Science (ICSU). It was organized with assistance from the Inter-American Committee on Mathematics

A. Ruiz (H)

Inter-American Committee on Mathematics Education,

Mathematics Education Reform in Costa Rica Project, San Jose, Costa Rica e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it URL:

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017 1

A. Ruiz (ed.), Mathematics Teacher Preparation in Central America and the Caribbean, SpringerBriefs in Education,

DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-44177-1_1

Education—IACME (the multinational affiliate of ICMI in the Americas, www. Local arrangements were the responsibility of Mathematics Education Reform in Costa Rica Project ( The creation of the Mathematics Education Network (REDUMATE— was one of the most important outcomes of the event.

National reports on the status of initial and continuing mathematics teacher preparation were presented during the event. These national reports became important references in establishing collaborative actions related to the teaching and learning of mathematics in the region.[1] [2] This book presents summaries of the reports: a synthesis of initial and continuing preparation for the teaching of mathematics in Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. These reports have served as a starting point for comparative analyses, showing similarities and differences while highlighting the various perspectives.

The reports consider various dimensions:

  • 1. The structure of the educational systems.
  • 2. The school curriculum for mathematics.
  • 3. Initial teacher preparation.
  • 4. The professional development programs for in-service teachers.
  • 5. Graduate programs.
  • 6. Research in mathematics education.

To assist the reader, some sketches of these dimensions that will be further developed below are presented. But to begin, it is convenient to offer an orientation to the region.

  • [1] A study on these and other multinational mathematics education organizations can be found inRuiz (2013).
  • [2] The complete national reports were published in Spanish in the journal Cuadernos deInvestigation y Formation en Education Matematica published in Costa Rica (MathematicsEducation Reports 2013).
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