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In Memory of George E. Marsh II, 1942-2005. Dr. George E. Marsh II passed away on June 15, 2005. Dr. Marsh had been a professor at the University of Alabama since 1989. He had also been a professor at the University of Miami (1987-89) and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville (1977-87), school administrator, psychometrist, and classroom teacher at the elementary and secondary levels. As a partner in emTech, Dr, Marsh worked closely with many international schools. He had been a consultant for the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas School, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and International School Services.

During his life, he engaged in an extremely broad range of research and scholarly interests: special education, computer software, intelligence, technology in education, distance education, attitudes toward mathematics and emotional intelligence. He shared the gift of his ideas, work, and efforts with his students and colleagues. He taught by example that intellect and scholarship are anathema to sham, arrogance, and professional inflexibility. To those privileged enough to have called him "professor," "colleague," and "friend," George will always represent the generosity of spirit and the intellectual courage that distinguish a tree educator. The academic world has lost a great educator and researcher. Those whose life George touched have lost more than that--we have lost the guidance, care, and friendship of a great human being.

To honor George, the George E. Marsh II Scholarship Fund has been established at the Capitol School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

As the modern society has become increasingly dependent upon technology, science, and research, mathematics has become critical in the preparation of students for future careers and for the security and progress of the nation. There has been considerable concern about mathematics instruction since the "Space Race" of the 1950s, a concern that has only continued to increase in the last decade as we have entered a new technological age. Mathematics is constantly developing and becoming ever more specialized, which makes it more difficult to develop a curriculum that includes a larger audience of more diverse students in K-12 and higher education. Complicating this is disagreement about methodology across content domains, with some maintaining that content disciplines are unique and that teaching strategies must also be unique. The opposite view is that universal methods exist regardless of the content domain. However, the most predominant approach in recent years, regardless of theoretical orientation of curriculum designers, is an emphasis on authentic or "real-world" applications. This is further complicated by professional disputes over constructivism versus direct instruction.

Today, classroom instruction is often a mixture of Skilmerian behaviorism and Piagetian or Vygotskyian epistemology influenced by postmodern and connectionist theories. Students who learn mathematics with understanding are better prepared to solve problems that they have not encountered previously but will face in real-life situations outside the classroom. The national standards for mathematics are predicated on the belief that students should engage in math activities that are relevant to daily living. However, many educators and school patrons see this as a culmination rather than something intrinsic to math instruction. In recent years we have learned that children do not simply internalize what teachers tell them in classrooms. Students attempt to make sense of new information based on meanings they personally construct. Current reforms in mathematics and newly designed educational programs have been topics of discussion in the political arena but have not caught the attention of the public.

Research about mathematics must continue in order to determine the effectiveness of current and proposed reforms; and to evaluate the success of programs that are implemented in the K-12 and higher education curricula. This special edition of research about mathematics education provides research articles ranging elementary and postsecondary education topics, including math anxiety, curriculum, attitudes, assessment, pedagogical knowledge of teachers, certification programs, beliefs, statistics, and career choices. It is with the desire of maintaining a continued interest in research in mathematics education that these articles are presented.

Dr. Martha Tapia

Berry College, GA

Dr. George E. Marsh II (deceased)

The University of Alabama

Dr. Anna C. McFadden

The University of Alabama
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:George E. Marsh II, professor, modern education, math education
Author:McFadden, Anna C.
Publication:Academic Exchange Quarterly
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2005
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