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

Balancing educative and directive guidance in teacher guides in three teaching cultures


Teacher guides in mathematics from three cultural regions (Sweden, Flanders and the US) were analyzed concerning directive and educative guidance. Directive guidance is when the teacher guide clearly states what the teacher or the students are supposed to do. Educative guidance is when the teacher guide supports the teacher with information about student thinking, mathematical issues and similar. The results show that teacher guides from Flanders are more directive and the US together with one of two Swedish teacher guides are quite balanced. The second Swedish teacher guide stands out in b...

A pedagogical history of compactness


Compactness is a central notion in advanced mathematics, but we often teach the concept without much historical motivation.  This paper fills in many of the gaps left by the standard textbook treatment, including what motivated the definition, how did the definition evolve, and how can compactness be expressed in terms of nets and filters.

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...

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