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Palmberg, Björn
Publications (6 of 6) Show all publications
Boesen, J., Helenius, O., Bergqvist, E., Bergqvist, T., Lithner, J., Palm, T. & Palmberg, B. (2014). Developing mathematical competence: from the intended to the enacted curriculum. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 33, 72-87
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Developing mathematical competence: from the intended to the enacted curriculum
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Mathematical Behavior, ISSN 0732-3123, E-ISSN 1873-8028, Vol. 33, p. 72-87Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the impact of a national reform in Sweden introducing mathematical competency goals. Data were gathered through interviews, classroom observations, and online surveys with nearly 200 teachers. Contrasting to most studies of this size, qualitative analyses were conducted. The results show that teachers are positive to the message, but the combination of using national curriculum documents and national tests to convey the reform message has not been sufficient for teachers to identify the meaning of the message. Thus, the teachers have not acquired the functional knowledge of the competence message required to modify their teaching in alignment with the reform. The results indicate that for complex reform messages, such as the competency message, to have intended impact on classroom practice, special attention needs to be put on the clarity of the message. To have high-stakes tests, for example, does not alone seem to be sufficient. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
JAI Press Ltd, 2014
Keywords
Mathematical competence Interpretation of competency goals Reform Learning opportunities, Classroom observation, Teacher interviews, Conceptual belief change
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of mathematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-82884 (URN)10.1016/j.jmathb.2013.10.001 (DOI)
Projects
Nationella matematikprov som katalysator för implementering av utbildningsreformer
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2007-375-50893-28
Available from: 2013-11-12 Created: 2013-11-12 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Palmberg, B. (2014). The influence of national curricula and national assessments on teachers’ beliefs about the goals of school mathematics. (Doctoral dissertation). Umeå: Umeå universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The influence of national curricula and national assessments on teachers’ beliefs about the goals of school mathematics
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

What students should learn in school and therefore also what teachers should teach is an important issue worldwide. Mathematics teaching (and teaching in other subjects) is often regulated by some form of governing text in a written curriculum communcating a set of standards. Another common mean through which policy is communicated is assessments, which for example can convey policy by communicating desirable outcomes in student learning. A common problem with regulating what teachers do through policy means is that it often is difficult to achieve intended changes.

This study investigates the impact of a national reform in Sweden initiated in 1994, introducing mathematical competency goals by communicating them through the national curriculum and national assessments. The study is based on analysis of data obtained from the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (SSI), which conducted a quality review of upper secondary school mathematics teaching. During this quality review, the SSI collected data on a representative sample of 145 upper secondary mathematics teachers through interviews, observations, and surveys. This was done in 2009 and 2010, which means that the reform from a time perspective has had ample time to exert influence on teachers. In the study the data obtained from the SSI was analyzed in order to answer two questions: 

  1. have teachers changed their beliefs about the goals of upper secondary school mathematics in line with the intentions of the reform, and
  2. why have, or have they not, changed their beliefs about the goals of upper secondary school mathematics in line with the intentions of the reform?

In research on teachers’ reception of policy messages, similar to the one introduced in Sweden, it has been found that a common response to these messages is that teachers are positive to the message. However, although positive, teachers have often been found to only adopt superficial properties of the reform while still maintaining a highly traditional view of teaching and the goals of teaching, not consistent with the intentions of the reform. Therefore, the questions in this study were examined by using a model that can explain why teachers, when confronted with a reform message, change their beliefs in profound or superficial ways, or not at all. Through analysis of the SSI-data, measures on constructs of the model were obtained, and with statistical means it was examined whether the model can account for the changes in teachers’ beliefs about the goals of upper secondary school mathematics.

The results of the study suggest that the Swedish reform has had a relatively small impact, and that the model can give an explanation to why some Swedish upper secondary teachers of mathematics have changed their beliefs in line with the reform, some have changed them in superficial ways, and some have not changed them in any discernable way. Whether teachers perceive the reform as entailing an important and non-trivial change for them seems to be of utmost importance. The results of this study suggest that if teachers do not perceive this, they will not process the message deeply, which by the results of this study suggest that there is little chance for them to change their beliefs in a profound way. If they however do perceive the message as entailing an important and non-trivial change, this study suggests that chances are greater that teachers will change their beliefs in line with the reform. Teachers’ interest in the subject and their perceptions of the usefulness of the documents communicating the message are then in this study suggested to be important factors influencing whether teachers will process the reform message systematically, which in turn heavily influences whether they will change their beliefs in a profound way. One practical implication, suggested by this study is that when policy communicates a new and non-trivial message with the intention of influencing teachers, it is important that the message is communicated clearly. Such clarity makes it more difficult for a teacher to superficially interpret the message as being in accordance with the teacher’s earlier beliefs, and thus not entail any need for change. However, to attain such clarity of a complex message is not an easy task to accomplish.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2014. p. 231
Series
Doctoral thesis / Umeå University, Department of Mathematics, ISSN 1102-8300 ; 55
Keywords
mathematical competence, competency goals, policy, reform, national curriculum, national assessment, teachers’ goals, teachers’ belief change
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of mathematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88067 (URN)978-91-7601-053-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-16, MIT-huset, Ma121, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-04-25 Created: 2014-04-23 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Bergqvist, E., Bergqvist, T., Boesen, J., Helenius, O., Lithner, J., Palm, T. & Palmberg, B. (2010). Matematikutbildningens mål och undervisningens ändamålsenlighet: gymnasiet hösten 2009. Göteborg: NCM
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Matematikutbildningens mål och undervisningens ändamålsenlighet: gymnasiet hösten 2009
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2010 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: NCM, 2010. p. 71
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of mathematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-40576 (URN)
Available from: 2011-03-01 Created: 2011-03-01 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Lithner, J., Bergqvist, E., Bergqvist, T., Boesen, J., Palm, T. & Palmberg, B. (2010). Mathematical competencies: A research framework. In: Bergsten, Jablonka & Wedege (Ed.), Mathematics and mathematics education: Cultural and social dimensions. Paper presented at The seventh mathematics education research seminar, Stockholm, January 26-27, 2010 (pp. 157-167). Linköping, Sweden: Svensk förening för matematikdidaktisk forskning, SMDF
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mathematical competencies: A research framework
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2010 (English)In: Mathematics and mathematics education: Cultural and social dimensions / [ed] Bergsten, Jablonka & Wedege, Linköping, Sweden: Svensk förening för matematikdidaktisk forskning, SMDF , 2010, p. 157-167Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping, Sweden: Svensk förening för matematikdidaktisk forskning, SMDF, 2010
Series
Skrifter från Svensk förening för matematikdidaktisk forskning, SMDF, ISSN 1651-3274 ; 7
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of mathematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37367 (URN)91-973934-6-0 (ISBN)
Conference
The seventh mathematics education research seminar, Stockholm, January 26-27, 2010
Available from: 2010-10-28 Created: 2010-10-28 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Bergqvist, E., Bergqvist, T., Boesen, J., Helenius, O., Lithner, J., Palm, T. & Palmberg, B. (2009). Matematikutbildningens mål och undervisningens ändamålsenlighet: grundskolan våren 2009. Göteborg: NCM
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Matematikutbildningens mål och undervisningens ändamålsenlighet: grundskolan våren 2009
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2009 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: NCM, 2009. p. 65
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of mathematics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-40574 (URN)
Available from: 2011-03-01 Created: 2011-03-01 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
Sidenvall, J., Granberg, C., Lithner, J. & Palmberg, B.Supporting Teachers to Support Students’ Problem-solving.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supporting Teachers to Support Students’ Problem-solving
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this intervention study was to develop, test, and evaluate a teacher guide structured in line with central tenets of formative assessment in a real classroom setting. The teacher-guide was designed to support teachers’ diagnosis of student difficulties and their choice of feedback to help students to continue the construction of solution methods during problem- solving if they become stuck. By using an approach inspired by design research, five teachers used the teacher guide for two plus two weeks in 12 mathematics courses in upper secondary school with revisions of the teacher guide in between the iterations. Ninety-six teacher-student interactions were observed, and teacher interviews were conducted. The results showed that the teacher guide supported the teachers in providing less algorithmic information and instead focusing on the problem-solving process, and by that helping the students to themselves construct solutions during their problem-solving activity. The use of the teacher guide was sometimes constrained by the type of tasks the students were working on, by difficulties in making reasonable diagnoses of students’ difficulties, and by students’ insufficient ability and/or willingness to communicate.

Keywords
teacher-guide, problem-solving, formative assessment, design research
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-157561 (URN)
Available from: 2019-03-26 Created: 2019-03-26 Last updated: 2019-04-09
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