Kerstin 180323

Kerstin Pettersson


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Works at Department of Mathematics and Science Education
Telephone 08-120 765 64
Visiting address Svante Arrheniusväg 20 A, E-huset, Arrheniuslab
Room P 405
Postal address Institutionen för matematikämnets och naturvetenskapsämnenas didaktik 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am associated professor in Mathematics Education. My main research focus is university students' learning, especially their conceptions of concepts in calculus.


I am responisble for courses in Mathematics Education in the Master programme. I also teach mathematics.

I am a supervisor of doctoral students, master students and student teachers’ diploma theses.


My research is focused around university students conceptions, in particular their conceptions of ’Threshold Concepts’. A threshold concept is a concept that represents troublesome knowledge but has the potential to transform the understanding, not only of the concept but on the whole subject area to which the concept belongs. A threshold concept may be considered to be a ’portal’ or a ‘conceptual gateway, that opens up previously inaccessible ways of thinking about something. It is a threshold to cross but when passed through the portal a transformed view of the subject will be revealed.

My thesis ’Algorithmic, intutive and formal aspectsof mathematics in dynamic interplay: A study of students’ use of their conceptions in calculus’ (Göteborg University, 2008) includes two studies, one on engineering students’ conceptions of limit and integral, one on how students in a mathematics programme use their conceptions of function and derivative.

In a project I have explored student teachers’ conceptions of function and the transforming of their understanding during a semester when taking mathematics courses. I have ongoing projects on students learning in a small-group setting and on students conceptions of proof by induction.

Last updated: January 18, 2019

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