Newswise — Alan Schoenfeld has literally changed the conversation in mathematics education. Discussions of meta-cognition and self-regulation, of heuristics and mathematical practices, of goals and beliefs, abound in math ed circles these days, and Schoenfeld introduced many of these concepts and expanded upon the others.
Schoenfeld credits George Pólya’s How to Solve It with motivating him to explore issues of mathematical thinking, teaching, and learning, and now his own books (most notably Mathematical Problem Solving and How We Think) and articles have prompted others to do the same. By connecting theory with practice, Schoenfeld has ensured that his work on developing patterns of productive mathematical thought in both students and teachers has impacted actual classrooms.
For his extensive and extraordinary work in mathematics education, the Mathematical Association of America has awarded Schoenfeld the 2014 Mary P. Dolciani Award. "His insights through more than 30 years of exemplary research have had real and lasting effects on research methodology, teacher education, mathematics curriculum, and the assessment of mathematical understandings," reads the award citation.
The Mary P. Dolciani Award recognizes a pure or applied mathematician who is making a distinguished contribution to the mathematical education of K-16 students in the United States or Canada. The award is named for Mary P. Dolciani Halloran (1923-1985), a gifted mathematician, educator, and author, who devoted her life to developing excellence in mathematics education. First given in 2012, the award carries with it a $5000 prize, made possible through a gift from the Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation.
The Elizabeth and Edward Conner Professor of Education and Affiliated Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley, Schoenfeld is a fellow of AAAS and AERA and the 2011 winner of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction’s Felix Klein Medal.
Upon learning that he had won the Dolciani Award, Schoenfeld expressed appreciation for his colleagues: "Over the course of my career it has been a great privilege to work with numerous mathematicians and mathematics educators in trying to enrich the mathematical lives of students at all grade levels," he said.
More information about Schoenfeld and the Dolciani Award can be found in the prize booklet.
The Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society that focuses on mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. Formed in 1915, the association members include university, college, and high school teachers; graduate and undergraduate students; pure and applied mathematicians; computer scientists; statisticians; and many others in academia, government, business, and industry who are interested in the mathematical sciences.