Mini-conference in mathematics education with invited guests

The subject of mathematics education at Linnaeus University is happy to invite colleagues in our field to a one-day conference with lectures and seminars. Lecturers are prominent scholars from different parts of Europe.


  • 10:00–10:30 Coffee and welcome
  • 10:30–11:30 Associate Professor Hanna Palmér, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden, and Professor Camilla Björklund, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 11:30–12:30 Professor Martin Carlsen, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway
  • Lunch
  • 13:30–14:30 Professor Lisa Björklund Boistrup, Malmö University, Sweden
  • 14:30–15:30 Professor Jeremy Hodgen, UCL, London, UK
  • Coffee break
  • 16:00–17:00 Professor Uwe Gellert, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • 17:00–18:00 Professor Despina Potari, University of Athens, Greece, & Professor Jeppe Skott, Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden


  • Jeppe Skott, professor of and subject representative for mathematics education at Linnaeus University
  • Despina Potari, guest professor of mathematics education at Linnaeus University


Sign up for the conference by Friday 10 January 2020 at the latest, using the form below. Participation is free, except that you are to pay for your own lunch.

The seminar series

This one-day conference is part of the seminar series of the mathematics education subject. All upcoming seminars in the series can be found at the mathematics education seminar page (in Swedish).


Hanna Palmér, Linnaeus University, Växjö, & Camilla Björklund, Gothenburg University:
Educational studies of toddlers’ number sense and emerging arithmetic skills

At the conference we will present the intention with and some first experiences from the combined research-development project DUTTA (Educational studies of toddlers’ number sense and emerging arithmetic skills, funded by the Swedish Institute for Educational Research, grant no. 2018-00014).

Research has given us a quite good idea of what knowledge of numbers and arithmetic skills to expect from preschool children, but far less is known how toddlers (1-3-year-olds) develop from “not knowing” what numbers mean, to “knowing” how to use numbers in basic arithmetical problem solving. Our intention in this project is thereby to empirically investigate what makes this learning occur (or not occur) and thereby provide a model of prosperous teaching strategies based on empirical findings and theoretically solid conclusions.

The project is conducted in three preschools involving 24 toddlers who we will follow for 18 months in their play-based interaction with peers and teachers in preschool. Data collection and teaching interventions are collectively designed and developed by researchers and preschool teachers. Variation theory of learning is the theoretical framework both for interpreting learning and development and for identifying prosperous teaching strategies.

The project group consists of professor Camilla Björklund at the University of Gothenburg, associate professor Hanna Palmér at the Linnaeus university and preschool teachers.

Martin Carlsen, University of Agder (UiA), Kristiansand:
Early years mathematics education research at UiA - Contributions from the last decade

In this talk I will give insights into the research my colleagues and I have conducted within the area of mathematics education in the early years. In the last decade, we have inquired into 3-6 years old children’s mathematical development. The research focus has been children’s processes of learning mathematical concepts and actions by the use of tools. Furthermore, we have inquired into kindergarten teachers’ mathematics teaching in the kindergarten. Research foci have been kindergarten teachers’ processes of developing their mathematical competence, competence in orchestrating mathematical activities in their teaching, and qualities of the mathematical discourses nurtured. The talk will concentrate on the main research results and end with some research ideas for the future.

Lisa Björklund Boistrup, Malmö University:
Challenging theory versus practice with an interest in interfaces between mathematics and vocational education

Lisa will discuss connections (interfaces) between two teaching contents in Swedish upper secondary school programs in vocational education; mathematics and vocational content. Simultaneously, she will challenge a dichotomous understanding of theory and practice in relation to mathematics, and in relation to various kinds of contexts, including the so called every day context. She will draw on the framework of praxeology by Chevallard. Her presentation will build on analysis of empirical examples.

Jeremy Hodgen, Institute of Education, London:
Understanding and addressing low attainment in lower secondary mathematics in England

Evidence continues to highlight the problem of low attainment in lower secondary mathematics I n England and elsewhere. In this seminar, I will present the results from the Investigating Mathematical Attainment and Progress (IMAP) project, which focused on low attaining students aged 14 in England. Drawing on the results of a specially designed test, analysis of the National Pupil Database and interviews with students and teachers, I will discuss what these students understand about mathematics. Then, drawing on a wider systematic review and secondary meta-analysis, I will consider what teaching strategies and other approaches could be used to raise the attainment of these students.

Uwe Gellert, Freie Universitet Berlin: Mathematics register variation in pre-service primary teachers

I am interested in the linguistic and mathematical features of oral and written explanations in addressee-based variations of language use. Within an experimental approach, my focus is on intra-individual linguistic flexibility in the academic mathematics register of future primary-school teachers. Register is here defined as those aspects of intra-individual variation of language that are influenced by situational and functional settings, and a broad understanding of situation and function is adopted. One theoretical tradition used in mathematics education research, where register phenomena have received much attention, is systemic functional linguistics.

Despina Potari & Jeppe Skott:
The contextual constitution of teaching-learning processes in mathematics

It is generally acknowledged that the traditional mathematical and psychological emphases in mathematics education research need to be supplemented with more social and cultural interpretations of teaching-learning processes. However, there is less consensus about what this entails in practice. We argue that an interactionist approach is helpful, one that focuses on the local emergence of classroom practices.

To make our point, we use a framework called Patterns of Participation (PoP) in a study of an experienced and highly qualified Greek secondary teacher, Elena. In the course of the study, Elena moves from a somewhat traditional school in Athens to an experimental and model school. Our data material is on two instructional sequences on functions in grade 10, one at each school. The sequences work out very differently; we describe the differences in terms of different relationships among informal, structural and operational aspects of mathematics, and explain them with reference to the locally social context.

We conclude that our approach is a useful supplement to other research in mathematics classrooms, as it provides a different perspective on and another explanation for how teaching-learning processes evolve.


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