Eva NorénAssociate professor, Director of studies
I started working in mathematics teacher education January 2003 after a long professional life as a teacher in compulsory school. With my teacher degree from 1985, I continued developing my professional skills. Alongside my teacher work, I studied for a master degree in intercultural education. I graduated in 2001. I finished my PhD 2010 and are today associate professor (docent) in mathematics education.
I have supervised PhD Jöran Petersson (defence 2017) and PhD Petra Svensson Källberg (defence 2018), both within the same research field as myself, multilingual issues in mathematics classrooms. Both of them work at Malmö University. Since 2015, I have also been interested in how newly arrived students are constructed in the teaching of mathematics, and what opportunities for meaning making are offered to them. I'm also supervised PhD Gosia Marschall, who did a study on mathematics teacher education. She soon will start her new postition at Oxford University, UK.
I'm a second supervisor to PhD-student Anna Wallin, since autumn 2016. Anna does a study on mathematics learning in 'Fritidshem' [an after school concept in school].
I was head supervisor to PhD student Laura Caligari, from autumn 2018, and second supervisor since autimn 2020. Laura studies multilingaul students and word problems in mathematics.
Since autumn 2020 I'm supervising Kristin Westerholm in her licentate studies. She is studying the assessent support for mathematics in first grade. From Janaury 2022 I'm head supervisor to Harita Raval who will study teacher education in India and in Sweden.
I lecture on multilingualism and mathematics teaching in courses on undergraduate, master's and postgraduate education, as well as teacher in special needs education and tutor training. I also lecture on computer programming in mathematics classrooms (compulsory school).
My research focuses on mathematics education in multilingual mathematics classrooms. One premise is that students are used to learn in their mother tongue and that mother tongue will be a resource in their continuing mathematical learning. Another starting point is language development work in mathematics. My research interests concern multilingual students' opportunities to position themselves within discourses and how multilingual students take space and agency in the mathematics classroom. In the research I combine Foucault's discourse theory with Skovsmose’s critical mathematics education in order to analyze practices in the classroom. My project "Multilingual mathematics classrooms" is still running, and 2017- 2019 I have been involved in etnographic classroom studies in one grade level 2-3, and two grade level 4-5, learning mathematics on their second language.
Another interest of research is mathematics learning, digital tools and programming in mathematics education. From 2017 until 2020 I was one of the researchers in the project, Programming in subject didactics, with IFOUS. The third reserach interest is gender issues in mathematics education.
In the research on pupils learning in mathematics and ICT, a minor ethnographic study has been conducted in a preschool class with access to iPads (one-to-one). A book chapter has been published (2018). Since fall 2017, several conference papers have been written but also journal articles have been published from the Programming in subject didactics (IFOUS), together with colleagues at MND and DSV.
I am involved in an ERASMUS+ project, LaMaVoC which means "Language for Mathematics in Vocational Contexts". From 2017 to 2020 we develop and test an educational concept that prepare students for vocational training in commercial and technical professions. The main partners is Technical University of Dortmund (Germany) and the other partner is Freudentahl Insitute, Utrecht University (the Netherlands).
Since I have been involved in developing a systematic review of research on Dialouge in mathematics classroom at the School Research Institute, I have learned how teachers can work with classroom dialogs in mathematics classrooms.
NORMA 17: The 8th Nordic Conference on Research in Mathematics Education
01/11/2016 - 30/11/2016
The Eighth Nordic Conference on Mathematics Education, NORMA 17 took place in Stockholm, Sweden, the 30 May – 2 June 2017. The theme for the conference was Nordic research in mathematics education.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Discourses and Agency in a Multilingual Mathematics Classroom
Eva Norén. Nordic Educational Research Working paper seriesArticle
I challenge understandings of students with a foreign background in mathematics classrooms in Sweden as disadvantaged. Students are often pre-defined as unsuccessful and bilingualism is constructed as an obstacle in classrooms. I explore how discourses operate in a monolingually instructed mathematics classroom. Among various discourses mainly three are exercised, a reform-oriented mathematics discourse, a language supportive discourse and a discourse excluding student’s linguistic and cultural experiences. A language supportive discourse promotes a reform-oriented mathematics discourse, and occasionally operates towards normalization towards Swedishness. On the other hand a reform-oriented discourse supports a language supportive discourse. Within these discourses there is space for students’ agency, and students position themselves as engaged mathematics learners.
To halve a fraction
2017. Jöran Petersson, Eva Norén. Education InquiryArticle
The present study investigated test responses from 259 immigrant and non-immigrant school year 9 students in Sweden with the focus on how they solved two problems on fractions, one of them halving a fraction, in a test. The authors report three observations. Newly arrived second language immigrants seemed less likely to have the word ‘half’ in their Swedish mathematical vocabulary. Moreover, second language learners with longer experience of the new language connected the word ‘half’ with a division by two, but showed mathematical difficulties in correctly applying it to a fraction. A third finding was that the longer the experiences with Swedish school mathematics, the more likely both first and second language learners were to erroneously omit the percentage symbol, when choosing to use percentage representation of the fraction given in the test problem. The authors suggest seeing newly and early arrived second language immigrants as meeting different challenges. The newly arrived second language immigrants may know some mathematical concepts better and Swedish language less. In contrast the opposite seems to hold for second language learners with longer experience of the language of instruction.
Gender Stereotypes in Mathematics Textbooks
2016. Eva Norén, Lisa Björklund Boistrup.Conference
The aim of this paper is to investigate to what extent photographs in Swedish mathematics textbooks for grades 8 and 9 are gender stereotyped. Drawing on research in feminist studies we performed a thematic analysis. The total number of males in the photographs is higher than the total of females. One pattern found is that males more often are represented as being active or producing than females. There are more than twice as many passive females compared to males. Within the category caring/serving, females are more related to caring in the home and male images to serving in a job. These patterns are in the paper viewed as part of a structure where girls are under stereotyped threats with expectancy to be passive rather than engaging in mathematics intensive study programs, such as technology university studies.
Making use of multiple (non-shared) first languages
2016. Michael Meyer (et al.). Mathematics Education and Language Diversity, 47-66Chapter
Wide empirical evidence and theoretical explanations show that first languages are important resources for increasing access to mathematics for learners whose first language is not the language of instruction. Whereas including the first language is well established in many countries outside Europe, especially those with shared first languages, most European classrooms deal with five or more (non-shared) first languages without making use of them. This chapter explores the specific European language context and its cultural, political, and institutional dimensions. We report practices of including first languages and report on European research into its effects and conditions.
Multilingual students’ agency in mathematics classrooms
2016. Eva Norén, Annica Andersson. Teaching and Learning Mathematics in Multilingual Classrooms, 109-124Chapter
Student agency and counter-narratives in diverse multilingual mathematics classrooms
2016. Jennifer M. Langer-Osuna (et al.). Mathematics Education and Language Diversity, 163-173Chapter
Mathematics classrooms around the world serve students who are learning the dominant language of instruction. These students’ forms of participation in mathematical activity have often been examined from deficit perspectives. Mathematics education research is in great need of counter-narratives to such prevailing deficit assumptions so that we can see how such learners productively use existing resources to engage in mathematics. In this chapter we examine potentially fruitful ways of framing identity and learning centered on student agency that can be brought to bear on the analysis of emergent multilinguals’ mathematical activity. We then illustrate the utility of agency-centered framings with vignettes of student interactions that focus on how emergent bilinguals used multiple linguistic resources in powerful ways. The vignettes are drawn from a variety of international mathematics classroom contexts and focus on students as creative users of linguistic resources in ways that serve a variety of functions during mathematical activity.
A school for all? Political and social issues regarding second language learners in mathematics education
2015. Lisa Björklund Boistrup, Eva Norén. Teaching and Learning Mathematics: Resources and Obstacles, 567-572Conference
To investigate one equity aspect regarding mathematics learning in “a school for all” we have investigated how teachers comment on their arrangements for Swedish second language learners (SLL) to succeed on the National Test in mathematics in grade 5 (students are 11–12 years old). With data from a teacher survey and competency profiles for students in grade 5 we have performed a thematic analysis. The findings indicate that there were schools where the teachers worked in line with the instructions of the test and, therefore, adapted the administration of the test to enable SSL students better opportunities to display knowing in mathematics. This is coherent with a view expressed in policy documents. There were also schools where the teachers did not write about how to adapt the test administration but rather justified the exclusion of SLL students from the test or explained SSL students’ poor results due to language issues. In these schools the SSL students were not invited to display mathematics. We discuss these findings from an institutional perspective.
Agency and positioning in a multilingual mathematics classroom
2015. Eva Norén. Educational Studies in Mathematics 89 (2), 167-184Article
This paper draws on data from a first grade multilingual mathematics classroom in Sweden. I explore how students' agency is pronounced in the classroom that actually can be a site where mathematics reform-oriented pedagogy thrives and how the emphasis on language support in such classrooms can support reform-oriented pedagogy. I argue that the emphasis on reform-oriented pedagogy can support the learning of mathematics and a second language, simultaneously. By analysing discursive practices, I show how this supportive relationship operates alongside the on-going processes of normalisation whereby students' mother tongues continue to be erased or ignored.
Newly arrived students in mathematics classrooms in Sweden
2015. Eva Norén (et al.). Proceedings of the Ninth Congress of the European Society for Researchin Mathematics Education, 1630-1636Conference
In this paper we discuss how newly arrived students experience, and perform in, school mathematics. There is little research on immigrant students' initial time in Swedish school, and it is methodologically underdeveloped. Our own research will be revisited, and we give an account of the methodologies we have developed. We look for analytical tools using both qualitatively as well as quantitatively, to interpret classroom interaction, social practises, individual performance and achievement. Our attention to diversity and equity issues includes avoiding deficit discourses explaining both success and failure in school mathematics, in relation to backgrounds, language and culture.
Positioning of girls and boys in a primary mathematics classroom
2015. Eva Norén. Nordic research in mathematics education, 361-370Conference
This paper deals with how various discourses impact on girls and boys positions asactive and engaged mathematics learners in a first grade classroom. Students andteachers may themselves adopt a position exercising a specific discourse, or theymay assign positions to others. The discursive practices in this classroomencouraged the boys’ positions as engaged mathematics learners more than the girlseven though girls’ experiences from out of school were valued as starting points forlearning mathematics
A multilingual mathematics classroom
2014. Eva Norén, Lisa Björklund Boistrup. Mathematics and reality, Proceedings of CIEAEM 66, Quaderni di Ricerca in didattica, 388Conference
In this paper we give account for a study where various realities in a multilingual mathematics classroom are analysed through the concepts of discourse and agency. We draw on a previous ethnographic study, revisiting some data with a focus on how students’ earlier experiences are taken into account for their learning of mathematics. In the findings we describe how out of school experiences of students are taken into account in the learning of mathematics. Those experiences relate to Swedish teaching traditions in primary school, such as the use of fairy tales. Devoting time to communication and activities where there were opportunities for students to contribute to content matter and shared knowledge production seemed to make students maintain focus on mathematical ideas. The inclusion of students’ inquiries and students’ responses in the classroom practices supported students as active learners, at the same time as students’ enacted agency maintained a dialogic school mathematical discourse.
Algebra tasks in a word problem and non-word problem context – a multilingual project
2014. Eva Norén, Jöran Petersson. Development of mathematics teaching: design, scale, effectsConference
Many students see algebra as a difficult topic. For second language speakers there might also be difficulties comprehending an algebra task linguistically correct. The authors suggest studying how knowledge in algebra and linguistic registers in mathematics interplay for both newly early arrived immigrants compared to first language speakers. We suggest the tools for such a study to be measuring achievement and solution strategy while varying the text intensity and mathematics register in algebra problems for students with different length of experience of Swedish language in school year 9. We want to discuss design of test instrument and methods for background data collection.
Immigrant students’ perceptions of their possibilities to learn mathematics
2014. Petra Svensson, Tamsin Meaney, Eva Norén. For the Learning of Mathematics 34 (3), 32-37Article
In Sweden often immigrant students’ failure in mathematics is explained by referring to deficit discourses. To critique that our aim have been to highlight the complexity of the situation in which immigrant students are positioned, by interrogating their perspectives on mathematics homework and the importance of parental support, as well as how their views seemed to have been shaped by wider Discourses. The students describe their parents’ background and education as inadequate, while “Swedish” parents’ backgrounds were considered desirable. With no hope of changing their parents, they seemed to have accepted that they have limited possibilities for achieving in mathematics.
Power relations in mathematics education
2013. Lisa Björklund Boistrup, Eva Norén. Proceedings of the seventh international mathematics international and society conferenceConference
In mathematics classrooms as well as in research in mathematics education it is possible to identify various power relations. Here we draw attention to power relations between researcher and teacher during classroom research and also power relations in implicit and explicit assessment acts in communications between teacher and student in the mathematics classroom. We describe a basis for a planned action research project within a critical mathematics education approach. We are drawing on a model by Skovsmose and Borba, and adding a Foucaultian concept of discourse. We include tentative analytical tools as well as methodological considerations.
2013. Eva Norén. Tangenten (3)Article
What is a group? Theoretical considerations when researching affordances for multilingual students' mathematical learning
2013. Eva Norén, Lisa Björklund Boistrup. Proceedings of the Seventh International Mathematics Education and Society Conference, Vols 1 and 2, 431-440Conference
In this paper we outline theoretical and political considerations when researching affordances for multilingual students’ mathematics learning during classroom communication. On one hand we address the difficulties when categorising studentsinto groups in research and how this can be counteractive since it canreinforce stereotypes. On the other hand we address the significance of doing research also concerning groups of students since this can provide understandings that go beyond deficient models regarding students’ language backgrounds. We discussa basis for an analytical framework for a newly started project focusing on a specific aspect of communication between teacher and student, namely assessment (here taken in a broad sense) in mathematics.
Equity in mathematics classrooms
2012. Lisa Björklund Boistrup, Eva Norén.Conference
30 Grade-Eight Students
2011. Eva Norén. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ICMI STUDY 21 CONFERENCE: MATHEMATICS EDUCATION AND LANGUAGE DIVERSITY, 292-300Conference
In this paper, I investigate how discourse switch is influenced by agency as students orally solve a statistical problem. The linguistic and cultural backgrounds of bilingual students are often viewed as deficiencies that contribute to low performance in school. One example of a deficit explanation, in Sweden, is a student’s "lack of Swedishness". I use the notion of agency to avoid deficiency explanations of bilingual students’ performance in school mathematics. In this problem solving episode, Swedish serves as the main language of instruction. Discourse switches from a dominant discourse of "Swedish only" to a discourse of recognising bilingualism, as the teacher translates into Arabic and explains in Arabic.
Agency in mathematics education
2011. Annica Andersson, Eva Norén. Proceedings, the 7th Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education, CERME – 7,, 1389-1398Conference
In this paper we elaborate on the notion of agency. We relate agency to Skovsmose‘s and Biesta‘s frameworks respectively. Both Skovsmose and Biesta are concerned with citizenship education, mathematics education and the purpose of education from a critical position. We explore if and how Skovsmose‘s and Biesta ́s frameworks respectively relate to agency
Students’ mathematical identity formations in a Swedish multilingual mathematics classroom
2011. Eva Norén. Nordic Studies in Matematics Education NOMAD 16 (1-2), 95-113Article
In this article I explore how students’ mathematical identities are formatted in a multilingualmathematics classroom. The study has been conducted in a group of ten multilingual Arabic and Swedish speaking students in grade eight and nine. In the articlethe focus is on two of the students. Students’ mathematical identity formations areeffects of exercise of a variety of discourses available in the mathematics classroom.In discourses promoting multilingualism and social relations students’ possibilities topositively build upon opportunities in the mathematics classroom seem to enhanceand identity formations as engaged mathematics learners is not an obstacle.
An immigrant student’s identity formation in a Swedish bilingual mathematics classroom
2010. Eva Norén. Mathematics and mathematics education, 179-188Conference
This paper challenges current understandings of multicultural and bilingual students in mathematics classrooms in Sweden. Bilingual students are often pre-defined as disadvantaged and bilingualism is constructed as an obstacle. But students’ identity formation can be effects of agency and of participation in a variety of competing discourses available in a classroom. In a discourse where bilingualism is encouraged an immigrant student’s ability to positively build upon opportunities in the mathematics classroom seems to enhance.
2010. Eva Norén (et al.).Thesis (Doc)
The aim of this thesis is to investigate and analyze practices in multilingual mathematics classrooms in compulsory school in Sweden. By using ethnographic methods, mainly participant observation, data were collected in a number of multilingual mathematics classrooms in suburban areas of a major city. The data include field notes, interviews and informal conversations with students, teachers and school administrators. The analysis is based on a coordination of Foucault’s discourse theory and Skovsmose’s critical mathematics education. The socio-political viewpoint defines power as relational and as having an effect on school mathematics practices. Discourse, agency, foreground and identity are used as analytic tools. In five articles, the thesis investigates how the various discourses affect multilingual students’ agency, foreground and identity formation as engaged mathematics learners. The effects of students’ and teachers’ agency on discourse switching in multilingual mathematics classrooms are also investigated. The findings indicate that bilingual communication in the mathematics classroom enhances students’ identity formation as engaged mathematics learners. Language- and content-based instruction seems to do the same, though monolingual instruction may jeopardize students’ identities as bilinguals while the discourse may normalize Swedish and Swedishness exclusively. Focus on linguistic dimensions in mathematics build up a communicative reform-oriented school mathematics discourse. The competing and intersecting discourses available in the multilingual mathematics classroom affect students’ agency, foreground and identity formation as engaged mathematics learners. For example, a reform-oriented school mathematics discourse intersecting with a social-relational discourse affects students’ active agency allowing power relations to be negotiated. A principal conclusion is that the success or failure of multilingual students in multilingual mathematics classrooms cannot be explained in terms of language and cultural factors alone, but only in relation discourse, and to social and political conditions in society at large.
Tvåspråkig matematikundervisning - nya organisationsformer och undervisningsmetoder i matematikklassrummet
2010. Eva Norén, Sara Ramsfeldt. Flerspråkighet, identitet och lärande, 215-243Chapter
I en alltmer diversifierad skola växer behovte av att pröva nya undervisningsmetoder. I det här kapitlet beskriver och redovisar vi projektet "matematik på modersmål" som vi kvalitativt utvärderat. Projektet bedrevs under två år i några Stockholmsskolor. Lärarna undervisade tvåspråkigt på svenska och arabiska respektive somali i matematik. De flerspråkiga elevernas modersmål sågs som en resurs i matematiklärandet.Eleverna intygar att deltagandet i projektet givit dem självförtroende och ökade möjligheter att lära matematik. Utvärderingen ger också en indikation om att matematikundervisning på två språk kan vara ett stöd för utveckling av båda språken.
Bilingual students' mother tongue
2008. Eva Norén. Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education 13 (4), 29-50Article
This article presents some of the main results of a bilingual mathematics teaching project, which run in five multicultural schools in Sweden. The main research question was: How do mathematical practices emerge in bilingual mathematics classrooms? In the project bilingual mathematics teachers seemed to promote mathematical learning and engagement in the classroom by using two languages in mathematical discourses. Pupils and teachers communicated mathematically in different ways, and the interplay between mathematics and language often became obvious. Bilingual pupils participating in the project expressed that they were able to learn more and they felt secure with the ways of using languages and learning mathematics. Participating in the project gave many of the pupils’ confidence in their mathematics learning competence.
"Alla människors möte borde vara så"
2017. Lisa Björklund Boistrup, Maria Nordlund, Eva Norén.Book
En skola för alla?
2017. Eva Norén. "Alla människors möte borde vara så", 52-61Chapter
Teachers’ Knowledge about Language in Mathematics Professional Development Courses
2017. Maaike Hajer, Eva Norén. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education 17 (7b), 4087-4114Article
Explicit language objectives are included in the Swedish national curriculum for mathematics. The curriculum states that students should be given opportunities to develop the ability to formulate problems, use and analyse mathematical concepts and relationships between concepts, show and follow mathematical reasoning, and use mathematical expressions in discussions. Teachers’ competence forms a crucial link to bring an intended curriculum to a curriculum in action. This article investigates a professional development program, ‘Language in Mathematics’, within a national program for mathematics teachers in Sweden that aims at implementing the national curriculum into practice. Two specific aspects are examined: the selection of theoretical notions on language and mathematics and the choice of activities to relate selected theory to practice. From this examination, research on teacher learning in connection to professional development is proposed, which can contribute to a better understanding of teachers’ interpretation of integrated approaches to language and mathematics across national contexts.
Didactical strategies and challenges when teaching programming in pre-school
2018. Åsa Chibas (et al.). EDULEARN18, 3345-3350Conference
Many countries around the world have introduced programming curriculum at K-9 level. For a number of years, a lot of studies have surfaced demonstrating enactments of programming education, for instance through the use of visual programming languages as Scratch in different contexts. However, these studies have had a dominating focus on students of age 7 and older and there are few studies reporting on implementation of programming activities for younger children at preschool. This gap is addressed by this study that focus exclusively on learning of programming in a preschool class of six year olds. We have followed one teacher during six months conducting both classroom observations and interviews. In this paper we report on the didactical methods the teacher used when teaching programming through unplugged (analogue) means, with BlueBot robots, and through Scratch Jr. We end the paper by a discussion reflecting on challenges and lessons learned in relation to introducing programming for young children.
Didactical strategies employed by teachers when teaching programming in K-9 education
2018. Jalal Nouri, Eva Norén, Kicki Skog. INTED2018, 7983-7989Conference
The interest in programming education has been significantly strengthened recently, as a consequence of an increasingly digital world that demands development of digital skills. More and more countries have introduced programming in their K-9 curricula. In 2017, Sweden joined these countries through the government's decision to make changes to the curriculum in terms of introducing programming in compulsory school. However, the path to successful programming education is associated with a number of challenges, of which the most crucial - on an international level - is related to lack of didactical research that sheds light on good teaching practices. In this study, we reached out to 19 teachers that by now considered themselves experienced in teaching programming for young children in K-9 and conducted interviews with them. A large majority of these teachers, fifteen of them, participated in a national research project with focus on programming education. The remaining four teachers were identified in specialized social media groups with focus on programming education.In the paper, we report on an analysis of the 19 interviews conducted with K-9 teachers that have experience in teaching programming asking the question: what didactical strategies are employed by experienced teachers when teaching programming in K-9? As such, the paper reports on a number of strategies employed by teachers and contributes to our understanding of how programming education are enacted by experienced K-9 teachers.
The governing of three researchers’ technologies of the self
2018. Anette Bagger, Lisa Björklund Boistrup, Eva Norén. The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast 15 (1-2), 278-302Article
This article sheds light on a number of discursive conditions relating to being researchers in mathematics education and with an interest in diversity. The data derived from a self-reflective trialogue (dialogue of three people) between the three authors, three researchers. Two of Foucault's governing technologies were adopted: technologies of power and technologies of the self. By exploring regularities between these in our trialogue we construed formations of governing technologies in relation to subjectification and subjectivation. We uncovered five formations: "Tensions between mathematics education (ME) researchers from different traditions through processes of normalization and othering", "Limiting space between ME researchers within the sociopolitical through dismissal of knowledge", "The socio-political tradition of a need for theory connects theory and ME researcher's' self-cultivation", "The researchers' processes of self-cultivation connect theory and compassionate research practices". and "Research on policy statements as resistance towards technologies of domination in society".
Reviewing Teaching Approaches For Programming Through Scratch In Compulsory Education
2018. Lechen Zhang, Jalal Nouri, Eva Norén. Clute International ConferencesConference
As the popularity of “Computational Thinking” expands in the education realm, more and more studies have been conducted to investigate the effect of using visual programming languages, such as Scratch, to teach computational thinking. This paper provides an overview of the teaching strategies that were implemented in research studies that aimed at fostering computational thinking through Scratch in compulsory education. To do this, we examined 46 empirical studies. The analysis of these studies has led to the identification of two approaches in teaching programming through Scratch: student-centered and mixed-instruction teaching approaches. In the paper, we present different enactments of the two broad teaching strategies and discuss the implications of these.
Mathematics in the Swedish fritidshem curriculum
2018. Anna Wallin, Eva Norén, Paola Valero. Proceedings of the 42nd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics EducationConference
Learning programming by playing and coding games in K-9
2018. Jalal Nouri, Eva Norén, Kicki Skog. INTED 2018, 7990-7995Conference
For some years now many Swedish teachers in K-9 education have explored programming with their pupils supported by a number of national and global initiatives, despite not having any formal education in programming or for teaching programming. However, with the advent of programming languages such as Scratch and various online resources tailored to younger learners, teachers have some extent been supported to teach programming. In this study, we reached out to 19 teachers that by now considered themselves experienced in teaching programming for young children in K-9 and conducted interviews with them. A large majority of these teachers, fifteen of them, participated in a national research project with focus on programming education. The remaining four teachers were identified in specialized social media groups with focus on programming education. When doing the interviews with the teachers we soon found that games play a big role when teaching and learning programming in K-9 education. This entails both playing games in order to learn programming concepts using game developed for this purpose, and coding games in order to learn programming concepts. In this paper, we report on this two approaches of relating to games in programming education in K-9 and present the advantages teachers emphasize with these approaches in terms of how they are received by pupils and what the bring to school.
Agency, Materiality, and Mathematics Learning in a Preschool Classroom
2018. Eva Norén. Inside the Mathematics Class, 145-164Chapter
By taking a socio-political stance towards the positive adoption of iPadsto advance mathematical learning, this paper explores mathematical practices in aSwedish preschool class (children aged six to seven) where each young student wasprovided with a digital tablet. The focus is on how the students’ agency or boundariesemerge in the relational practices between the students and the materials: hands-on-manipulativesas well as digital technology. The paper adopts a socio-materialperspective for the analysis of the practices. Both digital technology and the moretraditional hands-on-manipulatives are exemplifying materials in the intertwiningof human and non-human agency.
Fabrication of newly-arrived students as mathematical learners
2018. Eva Norén, Petra Svensson Källberg. Nordisk matematikkdidaktikk, NOMAD 23 (3-4), 15-37Article
As a response to recent laws on how to support newly-arrived students’ schooling, new policy texts have been released in Sweden. By analyzing policy texts we show how a particular kind of human, “the newly-arrived student as a mathematical learner” is fabricated through discursive processes. We show how the policy texts are framed within an including discourse that encourages multiculturalism, and views students’ mother tongue and backgrounds as resources. However, simultaneously the newly-arrived student is thought of, in a more excluding discourse, as being in need of rescue and as lacking the most valuable asset, the Swedish language.
Development of computational thinking, digital competence and 21st century skills when learning programming in K-9
2020. Jalal Nouri (et al.). Education Inquiry 11 (1), 1-17Article
Teachers around the world have started teaching programming at the K-9 level, some due to the formal introduction of programming in the national curriculum, others without such pressure and on their own initiative. In this study, we attempted to understand which skills – both CT-related and general – are developed among pupils in the process of working with programming in schools. To do so, we interviewed 19 Swedish teachers who had been teaching programming for a couple of years on their own initiative. The teachers were selected based on their experience in teaching programming. Our thematic analysis of these interviews shed light on what skills teachers perceive pupils develop when programming. This led us to identify three themes related to CT skills and five themes related to general skills. The CT skills identified corresponded well with and were thus thematically structured according to the dimensions of CT proposed in the framework of Brennan and Resnick, namely computational concepts, computational practices and computational perspectives. In addition to the CT skills, our thematic analysis also resulted in the identification of general skills related to digital competency and 21st century skills, namely cognitive skills and attitudes, language skills, collaborative skills and attitudes and creative problem-solving skills and attitudes.
Didactic methods of integrating Programming in Mathematics in primary school
2020. Gashawa Ahmed (et al.). SIGCSE '20, 261-267Conference
The association between mathematics and programming in an educational context is not new. Today, programming has been introduced into curricula worldwide for younger children. In the Swedish case, primary school teachers are expected to integrate programming in mathematics education from autumn 2018. However, Swedish teachers' knowledge of programming and programming didactics is limited. Meanwhile, there is little research on K-9 programming education. This has led to the dilemma that the mathematics teachers have limited support in didactic knowledge and good examples. This study reports on a teacher professional development project in programming. More specifically, teachers used Lesson Study to plan, execute, and evaluate lessons that integrated programming into various school subjects in elementary school. This study analyzed the didactic strategies developed in 10 lesson studies, as well as mapped the opportunities and challenges of pupils' learning in the mathematics subject. The result was the identification of three didactic strategies, which were analog programming, robot programming and block programming, as well as 11 didactic methods applied within these strategies. The paper contributes with examples of the didactic methods that teachers have developed and evaluated using lesson study. The paper further provides insights on how teachers can take progression into account by applying the three didactic strategies. At last but not least, the study shows a great need for teachers to develop computational thinking abilities.
Programming as a tool for acrosssubjects learning in primary school
2020. Christer Sjöberg (et al.). RUDN Journal of Informatization in Education 17 (3), 179-189Article
Problem and goal. Computational thinking has been introduced in many countries around the world and teachers are working intensely to incorporate programming activities in the classroom. However, teachers are faced with several challenges due to the fact that there is still little research conducted focusing on programming education for younger children, that programming didactics is a rather new phenomenon for the K-9 educational system, and that K-9 teachers have little training with regards to programming. In Sweden for instance, programming has been introduced in several subjects and not as a subject in its own, which create a pressure on teachers to utilize programming as an instrument to teach and enhance learning of different subjects such as mathematics.
Methodology. In this paper, we report on a larger lesson study conducted in a primary school (sixth grade) in Sweden with a total of 155 participating pupils. The aim of the lesson was to study whether the visual programming languages, Scratch, in particular, can be used to teach computational thinking, mathematics and social science in an interdisciplinary way.
Results. Thus, the paper more specifically presents findings related to: 1) reflections of the use of lesson study methodology to develop programming education; 2) how programming can be utilized as an instrument to teach mathematics as well as social sciences in an interdisciplinary way; and 3) the didactical strategies employed by the teachers.
Conclusion. The evidence from this study suggests that the interdisciplinary character of the lesson which incorporates learning goals of mathematics, social science and programmingwas highly beneficial. The pupils gained a better understanding of learning material by drawing, digitalizing and animating their ideas in Scratch.
A lesson study on programming as an instrument to learn mathematics and social science in primary school
2019. Christer Sjöberg (et al.). INTED2019, 2230-2235Conference
Computational thinking has been introduced in many countries around the world and teachers are working intensely to incorporate programming activities in the classroom. However, teachers are faced with several challenges due to the fact that there is still little research conducted focusing on programming education for younger children, that programming didactics is a rather new phenomenon for the K-9 educational system, and that K-9 teachers have little training with regards to programming. In Sweden for instance, programming has been introduced in several subjects and not as a subject in its own, which create a pressure on teachers to utilize programming as an instrument to teach and enhance learning of different subjects such as mathematics.
In this paper, we report on a larger lesson study conducted in a primary school (grade 6) in Sweden with a total of 155 participating pupils. The aim of the developed lesson was to study if visual programming languages, in this case Scratch, can be used to teach computational thinking, mathematics and social science in an interdisciplinary way.
Thus, the paper more specifically presents findings related to: 1) reflections of the use of lesson study methodology to develop programming education; 2) how programming can be utilized as an instrument to teach mathematics as well as social sciences in an interdisciplinary way; 3) the didactical strategies employed by the teachers.
DIGITIZED NATIONAL TESTS IN MATHEMATICS
2019. Anette Bagger (et al.). Proceedings of the Tenth International Mathematics Education and Society ConferenceConference
On one hand, the Swedish governing discourse on equity in the context of digitizing education portrays modernization, progress and democracy as a foundation in the equity work. On the other hand, in the context of digitized tests, equity is rather framed within a neoliberal logic while related to all individuals’ possibilities of choosing a ‘good life’, and to compete on equal terms. Not all disadvantaged groups are the target, though. It is mainly boys who are supposed be given better grades, and, in addition, students with disabilities who are supposed to (as far as possible) be able to have the opportunity to show their knowledge during the test. Language or socioeconomically diverse settings are not mentioned with regard to digitized national tests.
Mathematics in Initial Teacher Education Programs in Sweden, Germany, and Australia
2019. Audrey Cooke, Lars Jenßen, Eva Norén. Mathematics Education Research: Impacting Practice, 188-195Conference
International comparisons of student achievement in mathematics and their attitudes towards, confidence with and anxiety to mathematics have a long history. Likewise, detailed international comparisons of teacher education programs have also been conducted. However, the relationship between the teacher education programs and teacher anxiety for teaching mathematics have not been investigated. This paper is part of a larger research project investigating the relationship between teacher education programs and mathematical anxiety of its pre-service teachers. It reports on the initial comparison of the teacher education programs for primary teachers from a university in Sweden, Germany, and Australia, specifically the mathematics education addressed in the programs. The paper concludes with an outline of the future research.
Students perceptions of programming in primary school
2019. Gashawa Ahmed (et al.). WiPSCE'19, 1-5Conference
Since autumn 2018, teachers throughout Sweden are obliged to relate to programming in one way or another in the teaching, especially in the subject of mathematics and technology education. Although teachers should formally work with programming teaching from the autumn of 2018, programming has been taught in primary school for several years. While there is some research on younger students, most of the research has almost exclusively focused on didactic approaches and strategies used by teachers, educational values and practices that accompany programming teaching, and views of teachers regarding programming teaching. What is still missing is research that highlights how younger students experience these new practices and how they primarily perceive programming in traditional school subjects, such as mathematics. Thus, this paper reports on a thematic analysis of younger students' (n=44) perceptions of programming; students who have been introduced to and been taught programming in mathematics in grade 5.
Tensions in the Swedish fritidshem mathematics curriculum
2019. Anna Wallin, Eva Norén, Paola Valero. Proceedings of the Tenth International Mathematics Education and Society ConferenceConference
In 2016 the Swedish fritidshem got its own curriculum where mathematics is formally introduced. The space where students can experience informal forms of mathematics in activities derived out of their own interest risks being slowly transformed into a schoolified form of mathematics, steered by teachers and striving for learning effectiveness. A policy enactment perspective was used to investigate the material, interpretive and discursive dimensions of the enactment process. Based on document analysis, observations and interviews in two cases, tensions between two different and competing discourses were identified: one driven by student’s interests and one driven by teacher’s mathematical agenda. The meaning of fritidshem math will configure in the tensions about what counts as desirable forms of mathematical activity in practice.
The mathematically competent citizen in Brazilian and Swedish mathematics curriculum and textbooks
2019. Paola Valero (et al.). Proceedings of the Tenth International Mathematics Education and Society ConferenceConference
Through the comparative analysis of the curricular policies and textbooks in Brazil and Sweden since 1980, we trace the notions of the mathematically competent citizen that articulate the direction for the governing of students’ subjectivities through mathematics education. We conducted a content analysis of curriculum documents and selected textbooks for grade 9. Our results point that while in Sweden the official curriculum has played a clearer steering of notions of mathematical competence, in Brazil the nationally assessed and approved textbooks have been central in producing ideas of what should characterize the mathematically competent citizen. In both countries, the link between mathematics and citizenship seems to privilege mathematical competence and knowledge as necessary for participation in economic activities.
2018. Laura Black, Eva Norén. Research in Mathematics Education 20 (2), 105-109Article
Nordic research in mathematics education
2018. Eva Norén, Hanna Palmér, Audrey Cooke.Book
This volume contains a collection of papers from the Eighth Nordic Conference on Mathematics Education, NORMA 17, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden, from the 30th May to 2nd June 2017. The conference was hosted by the Department of Mathematics and Science Education, at Stockholm University.
The first NORMA Conference on mathematics education NORMA 94, was held in Lahti, Finland, in 1994. Four years later, it was held in Kristiansand, Norway, and since then it has taken place every third year. After each conference, selected papers have been published in a proceeding.
The NORMA conferences are always organized in collaboration with NoRME – the Nordic Society for Research in Mathematics Education. NoRME is open for membership from national societies for research in mathematics education in the Nordic and Baltic countries.
The scientific committee of NORMA 17 represented all Nordic countries and one representative from the Baltic countries. There was also a mix of junior and senior researchers
Teaching and learning mathematics in primary school trough Scratch
2018. Christer Sjöberg (et al.). EDULEARN18, 5625-5632Conference
Programming education is a hot topic in many countries around the world. Also in Sweden this topic has received a lot of attention lately due to formal introduction of programming curriculum as of 2018. Mathematics is one of the subjects that is most affected by the curriculum changes as the government in Sweden has decided that teachers of mathematics are to teach programming in compulsory school in order to support problem-solving in mathematics. Albeit there are some previous research investigating questions related to how programming can enhance mathematics education, for instance in form of the seminal work of Papert through the LOGO language, more research is required that scrutinize how new programming languages, such as visual block programming languages as Scratch can be used for such purposes. It is against such a background this paper present how two teachers that together with 70 pupils in primary school and during the span of two years systematically have explored the use Scratch programming as a mean to learn mathematics. We also report on the teachers’ reflections on what they perceive is learned by the pupils in relation to the didactical methods employed.