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

Investigating everyday measures through exploratory talk: whole class plenary intervention and landscape study at grade four


We report an exploratory talk based, whole class plenary intervention, in relation to students’ understanding of everyday measures and measurement, in a grade four classroom at a grade 4-6 school in Sweden. Extended, project related, teacher-researcher collaboration forms basis for such cultural historical activity theory or CHAT based efforts. As formative intervention, the conduct of the plenary is not pre-determined but embedded in ongoing curricular realities, with the agency of students and teacher promoted, pedagogical ideas reutilised and the role of researcher viewed as supportin...

Why is learning via creative reasoning effective?


Explanations do not improve algorithmic reasoning tasks


Unraveling students’ reasoning: analyzing small-group discussions during task solving


The aim of this study is to examine students’ mathematical reasoning, suggested by Lithner (2008), to see how reasoning sequences will unfold in actual classroom situations. We visited two classrooms in an upper secondary school and observed two student groups in each classroom for the time it took them to complete a task, constructed and presented to them by their teacher. Initial analysis showed that there were two interesting dimensions to regard, group characteristics (i.e., motivation and persistence) and task design (i.e., reasoning promoted by the task). We recorded conversations ...

Do explanations increase the efficiency of procedural tasks?


Studies in mathematics education often point to the necessity for students to engage in more cognitively demanding activities than just solving tasks by applying given solution methods. Lithner’s (2008) framework on mathematical reasoning address this by studying which reasoning a task promotes. Previous studies have shown that students that create their own solution methods, denoted creative reasoning (CMR), perform significantly better in follow up tests than students that are given the solution method and engage in algorithmic reasoning (AR). However, teachers and textbooks at least o...

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