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Values in effective mathematics education

Research project

This project investigates how effective mathematics education might be facilitated through an understanding and harnessing of what Swedish teachers and students value, and how they negotiate value differences to optimise their interactions.

Project overview

Project period:

2009-01-01 2010-10-12

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Science and Mathematics Education, Faculty of Science and Technology

Research area

Educational sciences, Mathematics

Project description

Effective mathematics teaching and learning could be viewed as one of the major aims of educational research in many countries. The various studies generally arrive at conclusions that effective mathematics teaching is more about responding to and valuing the socio-cultural aspect of the learning environment than it is about adopting particular teaching methods (Seah, 2007).

“Values are the principles, standards and qualities explicitly or implicitly considered worthwhile or desirable by the participants of a distinct social practice (Jablonka & Keitel, 2006)”. Mathematics education is designated as social practices where the teaching and learning of mathematics actually occur, and it is rooted in its particular culture. Therefore, what is valued in mathematics education in one culture will not necessary be valued in another one.

This project is a part of a large regional collaborative project, which adopts the socio-cultural perspective to explore the value commonality and difference in effective mathematics lessons in different culture. This project works at Umea, one of the 12 participating places across 4 continents, and it aims to explore what are valued in effective mathematics lessons from the Swedish students’ and teachers’ perspectives.