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Judith T. Sowder

The International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME) has been active since 1976, with yearly meetings attended by researchers representing 39 countries. The proceedings of these meetings and of the meetings of the North American Chapter of PME reflect the changing concerns of the international mathematics education research community and form a rich resource of studies on the learning and teaching of mathematics. These proceedings can, however, be described as “fugitive literature” in the sense that they are not generally available through libraries. The advent of easily obtainable publications that describe the work of the PME community is overdue and welcome.

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Judith T. Sowder

With this issue of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education we are pleased to announce that we are launching our electronic version of the journal. In addition to this issue, the March and May issues of the JRME will be accessible on the NCTM Web site, www.nctm.org, at no charge. Beginning with the July 1998 issue, the electronic version will become a fee-based offering with its own URL. A fee structure for subscribing to one or both forms of the journal is still being developed. Watch the Web site for information on subscribing to the electronic version of the journal. Each subscriber to the electronic version will receive a log-in password to access the journal. A password will not be necessary, however, for features of the journal now on-line, including tables of content, article abstracts, the list of accepted manuscripts, and the telegraphic reviews.

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Judith T. Sowder

Mathematics education research is no longer a young discipline. One way of measuring our age is in terms of years. Jeremy Kilpatrick (1992) traces our history back to the turn of the century, but he notes that a 1967 conference held at the University of Georgia seemed “for many participants … to mark the beginnings of true interdisciplinarity and community among researchers in mathematics education (p. 25).”

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Judith T. Sowder

As a mathematics education researcher, my biggest surprise this past year has been to learn that behaviorism continues to be alive and well and on the way to having profound effects on mathematics education in this country in the coming years. Once again, California is leading the way. The California State Board of Education is taking seriously the law (California Education Code 60200c-3) demanding that standards and frameworks be research based. In order to make certain that this law is carried out, the Board last summer funded a project to identify research findings in mathematics education relevant to the development of mathematics standards and a mathematics framework. One cannot argue with this decision. It is the details of the decision that concern me.

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Judith T. Sowder

Many JRME readers are aware of NCTM's Standards 2000 initiative, but I suspect that some are not. This work will have important ramifications for future schooling in the United States and will probably have some influence in other countries as well. By the time this editorial is in print, a draft of the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics will be available for reading and comments. This seems to be a good time to provide some background on this initiative and to urge you to read the draft document and provide comments to NCTM's Commission on the Future of the Standards

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Judith T. Sowder

The science education research community has recently been engaged in a heated e-mail discussion about the journal review process. This debate began with a professor's long open letter to an editor in which he protested the decision to reject his submitted manuscript and listed his disagreements with two of the reviewers who had rejected his paper. His protest has led to some soul-searching within the science education community about the journal review process. Reading through some of that mail caused me to think again about the peer-review process as it works with this journal.

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Judith T. Sowder

The new NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000) were presented to the public with great fanfare at the NCTM Annual Meeting in Chicago in April of this year. The mood was celebratory, perhaps even more so than when the 1989 Standards were presented. How will these new Principles and Standards be accepted? What influence will they have? Are there messages here to which the research community ought to be attending?

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Judith T. Sowder

With this issue my name is listed as editor of this journal. Some have asked me what changes I plan to make. The journal has now passed the quarter-century mark, and so one change that seemed appropriate was the one evident to you before you opened the cover of this issue. There will be other changes before the end of my term. By that time, an electronic version of the journal should be a well-established option for our readers. And I intend for the time lag between acceptance of manuscripts and publication to be much shorter than it is now. Steps have already been taken to reduce the backlog of accepted manuscripts, as was noted in the November 1996 editorial.

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Judith T. Sowder

Each year at the NCTM Annual Meeting, the JRME Editorial Panel holds a session for those interested in publishing in the JRME. Many prospective authors cannot attend, and so I decided to share the information from the Minneapolis session with JRME readers.