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



This paper reports on a par of an evaluation of the professional development program (PDP) Boost for Mathematics in Sweden. Around 200 mathematics lessons were observed, and the teachers were interviewed after each lesson. The findings indicate that the PDP has had a significant impact on the teachers’ knowledge about the mathematical competencies as they are presented in the national curriculum documents, and that the teaching practice had improved and now gives the students better possibilities to develop the competencies. The results also show that these improvements are still present on...

The discourse regarding the multilingual student in need of support in test- instructions


The effect of explanations on mathematical reasoning 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. Previous studies have shown that students that engage in creative mathematically founded reasoning to construct a solution method, perform significantly better in follow up tests than students that are given a solution method and engage in algorithmic reasoning. However, teachers and textbooks, at least occasionally, provide explanations together with an algorithmic method, and this could possibly be more ef...

Which textual features are difficult when reading and solving mathematics tasks?


Despite the digital revolution much of the mathematics practiced in schools is still tightly bound to two-dimensional texts. This emphasis on text is neither surprising, nor inadequate, since mathematics has developed through a long history with the use of written text, consisting of natural language, mathematical notation and images. Natural language is our native language consisting of letters and words (see e.g., www.oed.com). Different features of the mathematics text are also important in written tests, since reading the text is part of the assessment. If the text is hard to read, that...

Principles for designing mathematical tasks that enhance imitative and creative reasoning


The design research programme Learning by Imitative and Creative Reasoning (LICR) studies whether, how and why tasks and teaching that enhance creative reasoning lead to a more productive struggle and more efficient learning than the common but inefficient task designs based on imitating given solution procedures. The purpose of this paper is to synthesise the research outcomes determined to date by providing the following: a conceptual framework for key concepts and relationships among teaching, tasks, student activities and learning; a theoretical basis for analyses of causal effects betw...

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