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Science, Technology & Mathematics Education

Research Themes for Maths

Mathematics education research themes

The areas below are the major ones in which the group is currently active in research and particularly keen to supervise research students. Each team is very interested in graduate research projects that will develop these themes and broaden their scope. Further information can be found by visiting the web-pages of members of the supervisory team for each theme.

Enhancing reasoning and communication in school mathematics

This team researches students’ reasoning and communication in school mathematics with a view to understanding their role in the classroom and identifying effective ways to cultivate them among primary and secondary students. In the process of this research, the team has focused on various forms of reasoning/communication and other related concepts, including logical/deductive reasoning, mathematical proof, dialogue, and language. Specific projects have investigated students’ ability for logical/deductive reasoning in the construction of mathematical proofs and designed classroom-based interventions for enhancing this ability; explored students’ communicative competence in interactive, tutor-led, and computer-mediated learning environments; and studied the role of dialogue and language in the classroom.
Andreas Stylianides, Christine Howe, Neil Mercer, Kenneth Ruthven

Improving mathematics education and teaching in school systems

Around the world there is enormous pressure on - and within - school systems to improve many aspects of teaching and learning mathematics, and no shortage of ideas as to how professional practice could be positively developed. Equally, however, there is increasing recognition of the significance of socio-cultural differences in approaches to the teaching and learning of mathematics and in the values and assumptions which shape these approaches. The team's research focuses on forming an overview of the international landscape of research on the improvement of school mathematics, on assessing the adaptive potential of promising educational concepts and practices, and on studying particular improvement interventions and systemic reforms, recognising the importance of context.
Steve Watson, Kenneth Ruthven, Andreas Stylianides

Integrating new technologies and resources into school mathematics

This team researches the integration of new technologies and resources into school mathematics with a view to supporting teachers and organisations in carrying this through purposively and effectively. Their research analyses how teaching and learning are actually enacted and how they are mediated by the use of tools and resources, how participants think about these processes and what are the major features structuring them. Specific projects have investigated technology integration in primary and secondary mathematics, examining the activity and thinking of innovators, teachers and students, and focusing on tools such as arithmetic and graphic calculators, dynamic geometry and graphing software, interactive whiteboards and online web-boards.
Kenneth Ruthven, Sara Hennessy 

Developing mathematics teachers’ expertise and practice

This research team builds on the strong reputation of the Faculty in the field of teacher education over several decades, and the extensive experience of members of the team in this endeavour. The main thrust of their research in recent years has had an orientation towards teacher knowledge as a theoretical perspective, and as a tool for the enhancement of mathematics teacher expertise and practice. Specific projects have examined and refined theoretical conceptions of mathematics teacher knowledge in teaching (MKiT), crucially informed by comparison with different cultural perspectives; developed a new framework for the analysis of MKiT (the Knowledge Quartet), and applied it back to the classroom in several countries; and designed and implemented interventions to promote the teaching and learning of proof.
Julie Alderton, Kenneth Ruthven, Andreas Stylianides, Steve Watson

Other topics in mathematics education

Members of the STeM Education group have researched a wide range of areas and welcome enquiries about possibilities of supervising other topics in mathematics education. Consult staff pages or contact Andreas Stylianides to identify a potential supervisor.