New monography on the history of mathematics and mathematics education

Professor Bharath Sriraman has edited a new and interesting monograph called “Crossroads in the History of Mathematics and Mathematics Education”. The monograph, which is going to receive the number 12 in the “Monograph series in mathematics education“, will be published in December or January, but I have been lucky enough to receive a taster to share with the readers of my blog.

If you are interested in the history of mathematics and/or its relation to mathematics education, this book will probably be of high interest to you! The contents feature a section with different topics in the history and didactics of calculus and analysis, and a similar section on the history and didactics of geometry and number. A third section includes four chapters on the history of mathematics in mathematics education. The authors are among the most prominent researchers in these areas, and the table of contents (see below) looks interesting.

June issue of The Mathematics Enthusiast

June 2012 seems to be far away, but I have nonetheless been given the privilege to share with you the table of contents of the June issue of The Mathematics Enthusiast. As usual, the issue will appear on the journal’s web site, and the articles will then be freely available as downloadable pdf files. As you can see in the table of contents (below), the issue includes quite a few articles from Nordic researchers, and this is partly due to the inclusion of a section from the North Calotte Conference in Mathematics Education (Tromsø, 2010). So, although June is still quite a few months ahead, this is something to look forward to 🙂

Thanks a lot to the editor, Professor Bharath Sriraman, for allowing me once again to provide you with this preview here on my blog!

New issue of The Mathematics Enthusiast is approaching

A new issue of The Mathematics Enthusiast (formerly known as The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast) is approaching, and this one is going to be a double issue. I am happy to announce the table of contents for this new issue, and thanks to the editor (Professor Bharath Sriraman), I am able to do this before it is even announced on the journal’s web site! Here it is:


New issue of The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast

A new issue of The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast has just appeared. This issue – Number 3, 2011 – is a special issue on “Optimizing Student Understanding in Mathematics”. The articles in this issue are a selection of some interesting papers from last year’s PME-NA conference. More about the background for this can be read in Professor Bharath Sriraman‘s excellent editorial. As usual, all articles in TMME are freely available as pdf-downloads, just as I like it 🙂

MKT seminar in Stavanger

June 20-21, our research group at the University of Stavanger had a seminar on mathematical knowledge for teaching at the beautiful Sola Strand Hotel. 12 invited researchers from Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Portugal and the U.S. participated together with four researchers from UiS. All participants presented their work, and there was also set aside time for discussions.

The participants of the seminar had different approaches to MKT, and this provided a nice setting for discussions. Our group had very much built upon the work that Sean Delaney have done in Ireland when we have translated adapted and used MKT items in a Norwegian setting. Dicky Ng has followed a similar approach in Indonesia. Miguel Ribeiro from Portugal has used MKT as an analytic framework for his research, whereas Jorryt van Bommel from Sweden (originally Holland) has studied MKT as the object of learning in her learning studies. Other participants in the seminar, like Bodil Kleve from Oslo University College, has worked with Rowland’s “knowledge quartet”. All these, and other, projects were presented and discussed in what turned out to be a very nice seminar.

One of the presenters, Sean Delaney (see photo below), pointed out some possibilities for future collaboration in this area, and some of the participants at the seminar have already started working on a proposal for a symposium at next year’s AERA conference. Hopefully, even more collaboration will follow from the seminar.

Sean Delaney presenting at MKT seminar, Sola 2011

The 2011 NORMA conferernce

This week, The sixth Nordic Conference on Mathematics Education, NORMA 11, is held in Reykjavik, Iceland. The conference is organized by the University of Iceland in association with the Nordic Society for Research in Mathematics Education. NoRME. I have been to the previous two NORMA conferences in Copenhagen (2008) and Trondheim (2005), and I enjoyed both. This year, however, I decided to stay at home and let two of my colleagues represent our group and present our paper. If interested, our presentation is published in our Norwegian web page (the presentation itself is in English).

The confence gathers researchers not only from the Nordic countries, but also from the rest of Europe and outside. Plenary speakers are Marit Johnsen-Høines, Bergen University College, Núria Planas, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Bharath Sriraman, The University of Montana, and Roger Säljö, University of Gothenburg. Unfortunately, the conference does not have a very strong online presence (no official use of social media), but the program at least gives some indications. After the conference, a book is often published containing the accepted papers from the conference.

2011 Annual Meeting of AERA

Unfortunately, I am not able to go to the annual meeting this year either, but I plan on following the conference online! The 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association is held in New Orleans. As usual, there are lots of interesting sessions, and although it is a conference for educational research in general, there is a number of sessions related to mathematics as well! For an overview, take a look at the conference program. According to the program, there are 45 sessions with “mathematics” in the title this year, and no less than 349 papers include the word “mathematics” in the title! (Try searching the online program to find more!)

In addition to the ordinary “phone book” (print version of the program), they have created a very nice mobile application this year. I have downloaded and tried the iPhone version, and it makes me wish I was there 🙂

The welcome screen on the iPhone app

Above is a snapshot of the welcome screen on the iPhone app. Below is the short description of the poster session that my good colleague Dicky Ng is presenting. Minsung Kwon and I have co-authored the poster. 

If you are in New Orleans, make sure to pop by the poster presentation on Sunday and tell Dicky I said hi! Details of our poster presentation can be found in the online program (direct link here).

If you want to follow the conference online like I do, you might want to check out the #AERA on twitter! So, to all my colleagues in New Orleans: enjoy the conference, and make sure you keep us updated!

Early Algebraization

Algebra is a stumbling stone for many of our pupils. It is also a branch of mathematics that is important for many other areas of mathematics. Jinfa Cai and Eric Knuth have edited a new book on “Early Algebraization” that has recently been published by Springer. The book belongs within the series “Advances in Mathematics Education“, which involves many important books (most of them outrageously expensive, I’m afraid). The main editors for this series are Gabriele Kaiser and Bharath Sriraman.

The table of contents is freely available for download, and so is the preface and some sample pages. The book has three parts, including curricular aspects, cognitive aspects and instructional aspects of algebra in school. Some of you might be lucky enough to be able to read the book online, others have to dig deep in your pockets and buy the book. If you are interested in algebra (and particularly from a research perspective), I think the book should definitely find a place in your shelves. If you cannot afford it, the introduction is very readable, and it gives a nice overview of the book. 

How beliefs influence professional development

Katja Maass, from Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg in Germany has written an interesting article about “How can teachers’ beliefs affect their professional development?” The article was recently published online in ZDM. In her article, Maass presents results from a sub-project in the international LEMA project. The qualitative study described in this article included interviews of six teachers who participated in a professional development course. The data were coded based on principles from Grounded Theory, and the author provides a nice description of the different stages in the coding process. The results are also presented in a nice and illustrative way, and her theoretical foundation includes a nice overview of research on beliefs. As part of her concluding discussion, Maass argues that the beliefs influence the implementation, and she also points to previous research which argues that beliefs are resistant to change. In other words, the challenge remains.

Here is the abstract of the article:

This paper describes a qualitative study that examines in more detail the question of how teachers’ beliefs may influence the intention to implement change as suggested by a professional development initiative. Several teachers in Germany took part in a professional development initiative for modelling. The course comprised five workshops spread over 2008. A part of our evaluation of the course involved interviewing six teachers after they had taken part. Teachers were interviewed about the impact the course had had on them, the opportunities and any related impediments they saw for modelling, and the way in which they typically taught. The interviews were evaluated using codes. Although the sample is very small, the cases allow for interesting insights, and for the hypotheses that teachers’ beliefs about effective teaching seem to have a major impact on whether or not they intend to change their classroom practice, as suggested by the professional development initiative, and on whether or not teachers perceive the context in which they are teaching (school head, parents, students, etc.) as supportive.