International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education (ICRSME)
The International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education (ICRSME) works toward the advancement of science and mathematics education in participating countries. The ICRSME promotes collaborative activities to foster and facilitate cross-cultural, international research and development to improve science and mathematics education for a global community.
The International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education (ICRSME) was conceived by Arthur L. White in 1983 as a result of working on various projects in Central America and the Caribbean under the auspices of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and the United States Information Agency (USIA) in Washington, DC. The Consortium was organized by White along with Juan Esquivel from The University of Costa Rica and Pamela Fraser-Abder from the University of the West Indies. The charter member institutions of the Consortium included these three plus the University of Panamá, the National Pedagogical University of México; and the American School in Puebla, México. By 1985, a variety of cooperative and collaborative projects and activities were underway involving institutions and individuals within each of these countries. The major impetus and responsibility for the continuation of the activities and consultations of ICRSME since 1987 have primarily been due to the efforts of Professors Donna F. Berlin and Arthur L. White at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
Mission and Goals
The mission of the International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education (ICRSME) is the advancement of science and mathematics education in the participating countries. This mission is based on the premise that all peoples can benefit from the knowledge and experiences of their local, national, and international colleagues. The ICRSME focuses on programs for collaborative research, curriculum development, instructional improvement, academic exchange, teacher education and professional development, innovation initiatives, and shared resource opportunities. The benefits to be gained include multicultural perspectives, sharing of resources, the unification of purposes and efforts toward improving the chances for productive academic programs, and the fostering of peaceful relationships among the peoples of the participating countries. The ICRSME is the result of the efforts of individuals who have similar academic interests and visions for the future. The current foundation and basis for future activity lies in the dedication that these individuals have toward the improvement of educational opportunities in their own and neighboring countries.
In order to serve the mission, the Consortium model includes five interrelated goals:
- Promoting collaborative efforts among scholars in the participating countries
- Designing, facilitating, and conducting research toward the pursuit of a better understanding of science and mathematics teaching and learning
- Developing academic exchange programs between universities in order to broaden the educational experiences of students and faculty
- Acting as an impetus in establishing ties between the local, state, and national educational associations in the participating countries
- Identifying the particular science and mathematics education needs facing current and emerging underrepresented populations in the participating countries and directing research and development to meet those needs
The ICRSME constantly attends to the cultural similarities and differences of the member countries. Discussions related to educational organization, financial constraints, resource availability, logistics, language characteristics, custom and tradition, social and personal priorities, communication differences and needs, level and nature of expertise, and educational needs specific to the country and common to other countries within the ICRSME are promoted. In view of the ICRSME mission to advance science and mathematics education in the participating countries, the Consortium emphasizes the application of curriculum, instruction, and learning theory models to practice in science and mathematics education and to the conceptualization and implementation of research. Science and mathematics materials are shared, evaluated, and modified to meet specific cultural needs.
The International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education (ICRSME) has promoted collaborative activities to foster and facilitate cross-cultural, international research and development to improve science and mathematics education for a global community. Individual Consortium members benefit from the crafting of alternatives to solve educational problems, insight from a broad range of perspectives; development of personal and professional relationships; professional development; motivation; collective creativity; a support system; maximization of resource utilization; and greater breadth and depth of impact.
Activities, Research and Development
Collaborative activities spawned from the ICRSME Consultations include workshops, research, and development efforts related to: identification of the science and mathematics research priorities perceived by elementary and secondary school teachers; use of calculators and manipulative materials in elementary school mathematics; use of computers in teaching and learning in primary schools; collection and organization of a computer software library; integration of technology into science and mathematics teaching and learning; use of BASIC computer programming in the mathematics classroom; applications of learning theory and problem solving knowledge to primary classroom mathematics; development of graduate student fellowship arrangement; and development and implementation of student teacher exchange programs.
Research and Development
Collaborative research efforts associated with the International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education have included the identification of both common and unique research needs in science and mathematics education; conceptualization of research problems; development of proposals; effective pooling of resources, both human and material; development of relevant research skills; delineation of coordinated data gathering procedures; and the dissemination of findings, interpretations, conclusions, and implications of research efforts in approximately 25 countries. Jointly researched presentations and papers provide opportunities for better communication and feedback and more focused research.
Research in education is very much influenced by the specific samples and conditions of the research. It becomes extremely important to have replication of research in order to identify those findings that have stability and consequently the generalizability necessary to build a knowledge base. In order to establish a broad base, it is valuable, and perhaps necessary, to have parallel efforts in a variety of settings to test hypotheses and evaluate the practical application of theories.
Collaborative efforts in the form of an international consortium such as ICRSME can provide the following benefits to international research:
- replication sites to establish new generalizations and to reaffirm previous ones
- opportunities to expand the generalizations to broader populations
- identification of the cultural differences in the populations and the relevance of these differences to the generalizations
- extension of the generalizations to other modes or variations in method
- clarification of the basic concepts (constructs) involved in the research
- promotion of broad ownership in the research process and thus greater potential for using research results
The ICRSME has convened fourteen International Consultation meetings since its conception.
- Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from February 12 - 15, 1986
- San José, Costa Rica from December 9 - 12, 1987
- Mérida, México from February 25 - 27, 1991
- San Juan, Puerto Rico from February 5 - 7, 1992
- Concepción, Chile from January 27 - 29, 1994
- Belize City, Belize from February 7 - 9, 1996
- Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago from February 26 - 28, 1998
- San José, Costa Rica from February 1 - 4, 2000
- Panamá City, Panamá from January 29 - February 1, 2002
- Concepción, Chile in March 10 - 13, 2004
- Nassau, The Bahamas from March 10 - 12, 2006
- Quito, Ecuador from May 13 - 17, 2008
- La Manzanilla, Mexico from March 9 - 12, 2010
- Granada, Nicaragua from March 13 - 16, 2013
These meetings have included research and curriculum development reports, symposia, professional development and teacher education seminars, research skill development workshops, social events, and cultural experiences. Proceedings from the conferences have been published.
The following books are available for purchase:
Berlin, D. F., & White, A. L. (Eds.). (2014). Initiatives in Mathematics and Science Education with Global Implications. Columbus, OH: International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education. [216 pages-Price $45.00]
Berlin, D. F., & White, A. L. (Eds.). (2011). Science and Mathematics Education: International Innovations, Research, and Practices. Columbus, OH: International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education. [297 pages-Price $30.00]
Berlin, D. F., & White, A. L. (Eds.) (2010). Promising Practices to Meet Global Challenges in Science and Mathematics Education. Columbus, OH: International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education. [264 pages-Price $25.00]
Berlin, D. F., & White, A. L. (Eds.) (2007). Global Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities to Advance Science and Mathematics Education. Columbus, OH: International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education. [336 pages-Price $20.00]
Berlin, D. F., & White, A. L. (Eds.) (2005). Collaboration for the Global Improvement of Science and Mathematics Education. Columbus, OH: International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education. [249 pages-Price $18.00]
Berlin, D. F., & White, A. L. (Eds.) (2003). Improving Science and Mathematics Education: Insights for a Global Community. Columbus, OH: International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education. [239 pages-Price $18.00]
Make check payable to: ICRSME
Send Orders and Payment to:
c/o Dr. Arthur L. White
475 Riley Avenue
Worthington, OH 43085