The main objective of the project is to develop and analyse implementations of learning activities that have the capacity to bridge curriculum and pedagogy in the transition from kindergarten to primary school. We take a playful inquiry approach to mathematics teaching and learning during the first years of schooling to make this bridge. This objective is in accordance with the emphases in the curriculum of 2020, where play and games are explicitly mentioned as important resources for learning during the first grades.
We adopt a sociocultural perspective on learning as an individual process of appropriation, mediated by interaction and active participation through (mathematical) inquiries together with others. Mathematical reasoning and argumentation operationalise inquiry as it unfolds in the classroom, as a communicative process with oneself and others where mathematical utterances are inferred from other mathematical utterances. Mathematical reasoning comprises the students’ development of mathematical sense making through solving mathematical problems, through mathematical communication, uses of body and manipulation of physical objects. We utilise a design research methodology to develop both the theory and the practice of teaching and learning mathematics in the first years of schooling through designing mathematical activities in active collaboration with teachers. These are characterised by students being bodily and imaginatively active in implementing the activity, exploring mathematical concepts, ideas, and mathematical questions through reasoning and argumentation. We focus on concepts and procedures that are central in early mathematics learning. Our focus on play and inquiry approaches to the mathematics in the first years of schooling operationalises core elements of the new curriculum, i.e. exploration and problem solving, reasoning and argumentation, and representation and communication as processes facilitating mathematics learning.
22 June at 13.15 (Digital at zoom)
Algebra Learning: Generalizing, Expressing, Balancing, Reasoning and Argumentation
The objective of the ALGEBRA project is to generate knowledge about of the nature of effective learning environments, tasks and tools for developing algebraic thinking in middle school mathematics teaching, and to produce such learning environments, tasks and tools. It will do so through an innovative methodology combining design research with longitudinal analysis.
The Norwegian mathematics curriculum incorporates explicitly the competences of generalization, representation, communication, reasoning and argumentation, which are central to algebraic thinking. This creates a need for learning environments, tasks and tools for developing algebraic thinking and an ideal context for the ALGEBRA project’s research on teaching using such resources.
Research has identified key aspects of algebraic thinking, but algebra teaching in schools has only built on this research in limited ways. There is a lack of knowledge regarding how teaching of algebraic thinking can be implemented in ordinary classrooms. The ALGEBRA project will bridge this gap between research and practice, providing middle school teachers with tested resources they can use to promote algebraic thinking in their pupils, and researchers with a model of applying theoretical and empirical results in school contexts.