The Challenges, Reforms, and Future Prospects of Elementary and Lower Secondary Mathematics Education in Germany



Keeping its original form of an interview, this article presents a discussion about the challenges, reforms, and the prospects of mathematics education in Germany. The interview addresses aims and goals, contents and processes of mathematics teaching. Compared with the guiding ideas some years ago, more emphasis is put on modeling today. The idea that every student should have enough mathematics knowledge and the disappointing results of Germany in the PISA-2000 comparison may have caused this change. Moreover, Germany faces, like other countries do, some basic problems in mathematics teaching, addressed here as the balance problem, the coherence problem, the curriculum problem, the classroom organization problem, the computer problem, and the teacher education and development problem. The interview also tries to show how these problems are going to be tackled in Germany. For the prospects, being able to apply mathematics in the real world, being able to understand the mathematical concepts and rules, and having the potential of cultivating the own thinking are the main concerns of mathematical literacy in Germany.


Michael Neubrand, Carl-von-Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

Prof. (i.R.) für Didaktik der Mathematik am Institut für Mathematik der Carl-von-Ossietzky-Universität in Oldenburg