Equal access for all learners to quality mathematics education


Equity and Diversity in mathematics classrooms – substantial mathematics for all

Designing and offering adequate learning environments for students of all capabilities, is one of the great challenges for teaching and learning mathematics in inclusive settings. ‘Substantial Learning Environments – SLEs’ that allow ‘Natural Differentiation – ND’ have the potential to meet learners’ individual needs. Moreover, working with SLEs should contribute to a deeper mathematical understanding and to the development of general learning strategies. Exemplary learning environments and tasks will be presented and discussed. It will be illustrated in what way common learning situations as well as individual learning phases can be realized. Moreover, conclusions are drawn for teacher’s role and teacher education.

-Petra Scherer, PhD, Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany


Using working memory intervention to improve math performance: illconceived, poorly executed, or just not quite there yet?


Working memory training has been around for several decades now. The initial success of computerized, adaptive training with clinical samples saw its use widened to children with poor math
performance. Although some studies documented success, evidence of facilitation is patchy, with many studies showing improvement on closely related working memory or executive functioning tasks but no generalization to math or other academic tasks that place heavy demands on working
memory. In this talk, I will briefly review key studies that examined this issue, including some of my efforts in this area. An area of focus is to evaluate whether the lack of stronger or more consistent findings of facilitation is due to (a) the use of working memory training to enhance math performance being ill-conceived in the first place, (b) methodological shortcomings, or (c) an efficacious protocol not having been found.

-Kerry Lee, PhD, Professor, Head of the Department of Early Childhood Education and Director of the Centre for Educational and Developmental Sciences, University of Hong Kong


How can we prepare our teachers to provide equal access for all learners to quality mathematics education?

Ensuring equal access for all learners to quality mathematics education is a tall order and involves many different factors. In my presentation I will discuss what is needed in teacher education to prepare our teachers to be able to work with diverse groups of students in an inclusive education environment.

-Edda Óskarsdóttir, PhD, Assiociate Professor at the School of Education, University of Iceland