Shlomo Vinner sm
Schlomo Vinner urges a broad view of mathematics

A skit about medical appointments.  One of Ingmar Bergman’s dramatic Scenes from a Marriage. Woody Allen’s comic take on mortality.

Unlikely video illustrations for a lecture on mathematics education? Not if you are Shlomo Vinner and want to discuss how teachers can and should integrate discussions of a broad view of life into their lessons.  In “The Mathematics Teacher: Between solving equations and the meaning of it all”–  one of two talks he gave this week in Pullman — the Hebrew University professor recommended that teachers use by-the-way moments in their lessons to create interest and context.  The teacher should look for those moments, Vinner said, “as a hunter looks for prey.”

Vinner’s multidisciplinary focus reflects his own life.  In her introduction, Assistant Professor Jo Clay Olson noted that the Israeli educator is an accomplished violinist and poet as well as a key player in the relatively new field of mathematics education.   The two met at a Psychology of Mathematics Education conference in Greece, and their rapport led to Vinner’s visit this week to WSU. But his impact on the state arrived long before his plane did. Vinner’s groundbreaking work is reflected in Washington State Mathematics Standards.

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