NOMAD 15(1), 2010. Developing mathematics teaching through inquiry – a response to Skovsmose and Säljö

Skapad: 2010-06-01. Ändrad: 2010-06-01  

NOMAD 15(1), 2010. Developing mathematics teaching through inquiry – a response to Skovsmose and Säljö

Developing mathematics teaching through inquiry – a response to Skovsmose and Säljö



This paper constitutes a response to the article by Skovsmose and Säljö (2008) in Nomad. We focus on the concept of inquiry as used in the KUL projects at the University of Agder, Norway, 2004–2007, from which Skovsmose and Säljö offered an evaluation and critique. We begin by clarifying certain aspects of the two KUL projects, Learning communities in mathematics and ICT in mathematics learning. In doing so, we agree substantially with several of the points made by Skovsmose and Säljö. We go on to address their two main criticisms: that research in the KUL projects shows little documentation of inquiry processes or patterns of classroom interaction between teachers and students, or among students; and that the KUL projects demonstrate few attempts to use real life environments as a basis for establishing inquiry processes. Finally we come back to significant issues related to inquiry and the main focus of the two projects, further research questions and relations between the micro and the macro in mathematics education research.

Barbara Jaworski is professor of mathematics education in the Mathematics education centre at Loughborough University, UK where she teaches in mathematics and mathematics education. Before this she worked at the University of Agder, Norway in doctoral education and at the University of Oxford in teacher education. She edited the international Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education for 6 years, was one of the editors of the first International handbook of mathematics teacher education (2008), and was President of ERME (European society for research in mathematics education) from 2005–2009. Her research principally is into the teaching of mathematics at all levels (currently at university level) and in the development of teaching in which research is a developmental tool. The use of ”inquiry” in collaborative processes between teachers and researchers is central to her work in exploring approaches to teaching and their contribution to students’ learning of mathematics.

Anne Berit Fuglestad (PhD) is a professor (høgskoledosent) at University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway. She has extensive experience in teaching and supervision of mathematics education in teacher education, master and PhD level. Fuglestad was project leader of the KUL project ICT and mathematics learning (ICTML) and is currently leading Teaching better mathematics.
Her research interests in mathematics education are in developmental research in collaboration with teachers, with an emphasis on inquiry approach to mathematics and mathematics teaching in general and with the use of ICT as a tool for mathematics teaching and learning.