Nordic workshop on methods and methodology for research on mathematics textbooks
Researchers from the Nordic and Baltic countries were gathered at UiA in Kristiansand for three days in February to discuss methods and methodology for research on mathematics textbooks. Professor Barbro Grevholm introduces the workshop below:
15 researchers at different levels from professors, senior researchers, doctoral students to master students participated, and they came from Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Estonia. Most of the time was devoted to work in groups and discussions, but a couple of lectures also took place.
Introduced the NorBa-project
For example, professor Madis Lepik from Estonia and associate professor Antti Viholainen from Finland introduced the NorBA-project. The title of their talk was Proof and proving in Swedish, Finnish and Estonian school mathematics curricula. In order to learn more about the differences regarding the role and status of proof in school mathematics they have initiated a comparative study (called the NorBa Proof project), which focuses on three neighboring countries with markedly different educational backgrounds and different phases of curriculum development. The focus was on how the design of the Swedish, Finnish and Estonian curricula contributes to the development of students' understanding of proof and proving.
The main analytic task was to describe the types of statements related to proof and proving in the three curricular documents. The questions they especially aimed to answer were the following:
1. What kind of proof-related goals and content can be identified in our curricula?
2. How are the proof competences aimed to be developed according to the curricula in Sweden, Finland and Estonia?
3. How explicitly are the topics of proof and proving stated in the curricula?
Answering these questions was based on the qualitative content analyses of the respective curricula.
After conducting the analyses they constructed general learning trajectories from each country's results concerning the development of proof related competences and investigated the access to proof of different student groups within various mathematical topics.
In the presentation they described the analysis of the curricular documents; also some examples of the findings was provided. The project will now turn to studies on mathematics textbooks also based on the curricular background.
Master students took part
Another lecture with the title From text to 'Lived resources': Mathematics teachers working with curriculum resources will be given by professor Birgit Pepin, Sør-Trøndelag University College.
In her presentation she first presented the concept of 'documentation' as construed by Gueudet and Trouche, and how this is understood for individual teachers, and teachers working in 'collectives'. In the second part she discussed how this concept can be applied for textbook research and for professional development of mathematics teachers. In particular, it is appropriate to discuss this in terms of methodology and research design which the textbook research group may want to consider.
Findings from earlier studies was presented as points for discussion.
In this specific lecture one group of master students and their teacher at UiA also took part. Thus the workshop was partly integrated with the normal teaching at UiA.
The workshop was initiated and lead by professor Barbro Grevholm at UiA, who is responsible for the collaboration in the network between 2011 and 2014. The network is funded by NordForsk over three years.