Boycott Holland:
Role of Mathematics and
Mathematics Education Research

Fall or winter 2015, ISBN 978-9...
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Download PDF (1.5 MB)     DRAFT, October 27 2015

NB. Because of developments in October 2015, a draft of this book has already
been put on my website. Its contents are preliminary and only an indication.

Boycott Holland: Role of MMER

Mathematics education is a mess. Why is it a mess ? Because it is messed up.

There are breaches of integrity of science: (a) when research mathematicians and psychologists make statements about mathematics education that they are not qualified for, and (b) even worse when they continue doing so and do not correct after been warned about this. There can be even worse breaches at the individual level.

  • Mathematicians are trained for abstraction while education is an empirical issue. When mathematicians meet in class with real life pupils then they solve their cognitive dissonance by holding on to tradition. But tradition has not been designed for empirical didactics. Pupils suffer the consequences.
  • In addition to this, abstract thinking Hans Freudenthal (1905-1990) invented "realistic mathematics education" (RME) as a teaching method, without proper study of empirical reality. He actually stole and distorted ideas from math teacher Pierre van Hiele (1909-2010) based upon practice.
  • There are opponents of RME who want to return to traditional teaching methods: but who are not qualified for mathematics education and its research either.
  • Psychologists may fail to understand the Van Hiele theory of levels of insight. Psychometric studies on number sense or on testing arithmetic skills can show insufficient knowledge about mathematics education research.

An advice is to re-engineer mathematics education. Parliaments around the world are advised to have each their own parliamentary enquiry to investigate the issue and make funds available for change. Each State may have its own State Institute for the management of mathematics education and its research, with only a limited role for mathematicians, and a major role for teachers with adequate training in empirical research.

In Holland there is a dirty math war, with a collective breach of integrity in general, and particular breaches by individuals, with slander, abuse of power, and censorship. One of the reasons is the local Freudenthal Institute with its locked-in network and Freudenthal's bossy tradition. Another reason is that if there is Dutch tolerance then it cannot deal well with the (mean spirited) arrogance of mathematicians and their maltreatment of empirical education. A third reason is that Holland may actually not be so tolerant after all.

Given the dismal situation of research integrity in Holland and the fraudster Hans Freudenthal Prize at IMU / ICMI it is advisable for the world to boycott Holland till Holland has repaired its system of math education (with a Simon Stevin Institute like indicated above) so that this source for pollution is redressed.

Within the environment of such a Simon Stevin Institute I will be happy to present and discuss my suggestions for improvement of mathematics education. In that case there can be unbiased empirical testing and evaluation of what works and what doesn't work.

Non-Dutch institutions like the AMS, MAA and NCTM in the USA and the ACME and ATM in the UK better do not wait for Holland but take their own responsibility to fully disclose the fraud by Freudenthal. Relevant documents must be translated by independent translators from Dutch to English. In follow-up: "scientific publications" from the Freudenthal Head in the Clouds Realistic Mathematics Institute in Utrecht must be retracted when those have no scientific value (expressing personal opinion based upon presumed expertise).

The author is an econometrician and teacher of mathematics.

  1. Other books: Elegance with Substance and Conquest of the Plane
  2. Malconduct of Integrity Officers at UMCG - email exchange Colignatus - La Bastide - Vertrouwenspersoon, 23 oktober 2015
  3. Memo w.r.t. malconduct in science in 2008-2015 by Klaas van Berkel (RUG, LB-VG), Jan van Maanen (UU, Freudenthal Institute, COTP, LB-VG) and Martin Goedhart (RUG, COTP, LB-VG), October 28 2015
  4. Memo w.r.t. malconduct in science in 2008-2015 by Gerrit Roorda (RUG), Joke Daemen (UU, FI) and Paul Drijvers (UU, FI), also, but not only, in the context of the case of LB-VG, October 28 2015
  5. Memo w.r.t. malconduct in science 2009-2016 by Michiel Doorman (UU), November 18 2016

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