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Teaching with digital mathematics textbooks - Activity theoretical studies of data-driven technology in classroom practices

Science and Information Technology
Education and learning

Marie Utterberg Modén defends her doctoral thesis in the subject applied information technology towards educational science.

15 Oct 2021
13:00 - 16:00

Good to know
Zoom link will be published closer to the dissertation.

Title: Teaching with digital mathematics textbooks - aligning novel technology and current practice. Diana Laurillard, UCL Knowledge Lab, University College London is appointed faculty opponent.

About the thesis:

The introduction of digital textbooks, with data-driven functionalities, is a recent trend in mathematics education possibly challenging established teaching practices. Hence, the overall aim of this thesis is to explore teachers concerns when digital mathematics textbooks are introduced in their teaching. Activity Theory is used as an approach, analyzing teachers planning and implementation of teaching with digital textbooks as activity systems. This makes it possible to understand teachers concerns in terms of systemic implications: contradictions and congruences.

The studies show that planning teaching with a digital mathematics text-book with a high degree of flexibility puts more burden on teachers. They need additional competences and working time. Teaching with data- driven dashboards and adaptive tutoring functionality builds on an individualized approach to teaching. This contradicts established norms building on the collective classroom to develop both mathematics knowledge and abilities, as well as more general skills.

Furthermore, adaptive functionality challenges teachers’ perceived control of the learning process and their accountability. On the other hand, the possibility of monitoring students’ performance visualized on dash-boards and support for adaptation to student needs, provide actionable knowledge in teaching making individualization easier.


Fulltext version of the thesis