Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre (UMERC)

UMERC is an interdisciplinary network of researchers, research students and teachers from school and university, who are engaged in research and research education in connection to the UMERC research themes.

Latest publications from UMERC

Teacher research as self-study and collaborative activity


This article highlights two insightful methods for advancing teacher research: practitioner self-study in relation to a range of texts, with which to examine one’s educational landscape; and classroom interventions conceived as a Vygotskian activity, via teacher-researcher collaboration. Both approaches allow teachers and collaborating researchers to share individual expertise across institutional boundaries and engage in creative local action.

From problem posing to posing problems via explicit mediation in Grades 4 and 5


Drawing upon cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) perspectives,in this chapter we portray a classroom practice of problem posing that evolved with a cohort of students across Grades 4 and 5 in Sweden. In line with a language and literacy pedagogy, the classroom practice in which students utilised textbook vocabulary handed out on slips of paper (lappar in Swedish) advanced through three distinct stages namely: formulating written questions, problem posing as dyads and actively posing problems to one another. Mediated explicitly by lappar, such a practice provided social and public opp...

Activity settings and pedagogical categories


This report discusses analysis of data collected as participant observer during doctoral work (Gade, 2006), examined more recently with Engeström’s version of activity theory (Gade, 2014). The empirical data under consideration refer to two particular group tasks conducted by two experienced teachers at the commencement of the academic term, with all students assembled into small groups. I consider the conduct of these tasks as an Activity setting (Tharp & Gallimore, 1988), in realising which teachers exemplified the pedagogical category of Joint productive activity (Dalton & Tharp...

A cross-cultural analysis of the voice of curriculum materials


This paper presents a cross-cultural analysis of how authors of elementary mathematics curriculum materials communicate with teachers and what they communicate about, focusing on six teacher’s guides from three distinct school systems, Flanders, U.S. and Sweden. Findings revealed distinct differences between approaches common to each cultural context that relate to different educational traditions. These findings point to differing assumptions about the knowledge needed by teachers to enact instruction. Further research is needed to explore these patterns qualitatively and consider teachers...

Cultural and Gender Differences in Experiences and Expression of Test Anxiety Among Chinese, Finnish, and Swedish Grade 3 Pupils


While test anxiety has been studied extensively, little consideration has been given to the cultural impacts of children's experiences and expressions of test anxiety. The aim of this work was to examine whether variance in test anxiety scores can be predicted based on gender and cultural setting. Three hundred and ninety-eight pupils in Grade 3 in China, Finland, and Sweden, each of which has different testing realities, completed the Children's Test Anxiety Scale (CTAS). Exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) results indicated that the Chinese sample scored more highly on the aut...

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