Public defence in mathematics education: Miguel Perez

Title: A teacher-centred design system to integrate digital technologies in secondary mathematics classrooms
Subject: Mathematics Education
Faculty: Faculty of Technology
Date: Thursday 14 June 2018 at 1.15 pm
Place: Room M1083 (Södrasalen), building M, Växjö
External reviewer: Professor John Monaghan, University of Agder, Norway
Examining committee: Professor Jeremy Rose, University of Skövde, Sweden
Professor Kristina Juter, Kristianstad University, Sweden
Professor Andreas Ryve, Mälardalen University, Sweden
Chairperson: Professor Torsten Lindström, Department of Mathematics, Linnaeus University
Supervisor: Professor Marianna Bosch, Ramon Llull University, Spain
Examiner: Professor Jeppe Skott, Department of Mathematics, Linnaeus University
Spikning: Wednesday 23 May 2018 at 1.15 pm at the University Library in Växjö


Despite efforts made by teachers and researchers, studies show that digital technologies have not improved conditions for teaching and learning mathematics to the degree expected by stakeholders inside as well as outside the school system.

In this research, the problem of the integration of digital technologies is addressed through the perspective of design. It sets out to explore the conditions where educational design researchers may succeed in producing valuable and sustainable contributions to teacher change. The design approach developed and used for this purpose is Agile Educational Design (AED). It shares many of the common features of other design methodologies within the field; however, the AED approach is an explicit systems approach to design based on the Singerian philosophy of design. Rather than focus on ready-made products or other resources such as curriculum material, professional development or design principles, the focus is on processes and supporting teachers' operationalisation of theoretical principles to achieve change. It is argued that all phases of the design process need to be considered from a research perspective. The developmental phases cannot be treated as uncomplicated inputs that only serve as a 'design base' for research activities. The Anthropological Theory of the Didactic is used as an overall theoretical framework to describe all aspects of the design process and to analyse the empirical data which consists of three design cycles related to three different ways of interacting with teachers. The design cycles were carried out in various settings, including different schools (secondary level) and with different teachers and different learning objectives. The dynamic geometry software GeoGebra was used in all three cycles.

The results highlight some of the internal and external constraints that hinder teachers from integrating digital technologies in an effective way to support students learning mathematics. Digital technologies introduce important epistemological changes in the mathematical content that may explain some of the teachers' difficulties in exploiting the full potential of digital technologies. However, giving teachers the responsibility for orchestrating lessons in accordance with theoretical principles provided by a researcher showed promising results regarding achieving sustainable changes in teachers' practices.

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