On 11 March at the University of Alicante in Spain, there was a presentation of two monographs dedicated to María Luz Callejo de la Vega. She was professor of Didactics of Mathematics at the Education Faculty’s Department of Innovation and Didactic Training from 2004 to 2020.
The speakers at the ceremony were the former and current deans of the Faculty, the director of the Department, and the two people who edited the monographs.
These are two publications of very different scope. The first is the journal Edma 06, dedicated to mathematics education for 0 to 6 year-olds, published in June 2021. It contains six articles by various teachers on how to encourage mathematical thinking in children in pre-school and primary education.
The second publication is entitled Ideas para la educación matemática: Perspectivas desde el trabajo de Mª Luz Callejo de la Vega. It brings together contributions by 32 authors from 15 research and teaching institutions in Spain and Latin America as a tribute and recognition of the work carried out by Maria Luz in the field of mathematics education.
The speakers spoke with great feeling about Professor Callejo’s human values which went over and above her academic achievements, and of her dedication to the training of teachers. She approached it from a broad humanist perspective in which the development of mathematical knowledge was part of a framework of preparing individuals to be holders of rights, to be citizens and to be people who take an active role in transforming society.
Teaching and research work
Salvador Llinares, director of the UA Mathematics Education Research Group (GIDIMAT-UA) and editor of the publication, quoted Saint-Exupéry in saying that “what is essential is invisible to the eye”. He pointed to how there are always limitations in approaching the life of another person, even if you have dealt with them extensively. He went on to describe Maria Luz’s qualities as a researcher and teacher: her dedication to problem solving, teacher training, emphasis on respect for diversity, equity − Mathematics for all −, social justice, citizenship, teaching-learning processes and beliefs and attitudes towards mathematical activity, research etc.
Maria Luz Callejo had a degree in Mathematics from the University of Seville (1980), and a PhD in Didactics of Disciplines with specialisation in Mathematics from the University of Paris 7 (1991). She worked at the Institute of Educational Studies Somosaguas where she directed the Didactics of Mathematics Department, an area hardly known at that time in Spanish universities. She spent time at the Poveda Centre in the Dominican Republic where she published the Cuaderno Educación matemática y ciudadanía: propuestas desde los derechos humanos (Mathematics Education and Citizenship: Proposals from a Human Rights Perspective). She is the author of several books and numerous articles in journals and collaborative works, and she supervised several doctoral theses. As a member of the Spanish Society for Research in Mathematics Education and of various working and research groups, she also participated in numerous conferences and symposia.
Maria Luz Callejo de la Vega, a member of the Teresian Association, passed away on 1 September 2020. Her long struggle with serious illness did not prevent her dedication to her students from continuing until the end. In their tribute, her colleagues in the Department and Faculty remarked on the high values to which Maria Luz gave testimony. She showed a spirit of academic teamwork that was far removed from negative models of competitiveness but was filled with affection and human warmth.
TA Translators Team.