Taylor, JA & Galligan, L 2005, 'Research into research on adults in bridging mathematics: the past, the present and the future', in M Horne & B Marr (eds), Proceedings of Connecting voices in adult mathematics and numeracy: practitioners, researchers and learners: Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM) 12th Annual International Conference jointly with the Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) and in cooperation with the Australasian Bridging Mathematics Network Mathematics Network (BMN), Melbourne, Vic., 3-7 July, Austrlalian Catholic University, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 11- 19.
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Bridging Mathematics has been an informal network of researchers and practitioners from Australian, New Zealand, Southern Africa and the Pacific since the late 1980s. The political and educational climate that saw the rise of the network in those early years is not the climate that exists today. However, although the change in climate has effected both the research and teaching practice of its members, fundamental issues related to adults learning mathematics in all its forms are still being discussed. In this paper we will trace the history of research into and about adults in bridging mathematics highlighting the major achievements along the way. The recurring questions about ‘What do we teach?’, ‘How do we teach it?’, ‘Who will teach it?’ and ‘What do we do about the changing technologies?’ will be revisited, leading up to the final question – ‘Is bridging mathematics still necessary?€