Workshop 5 June 2019

Irina Surducan (Loughborough), Reading group, and Professor Ken Ruthven (University of Cambridge).

2:00-2:50 Irina Surducan The semantic magnitude representation – are Arabic numerals special?

Some key questions in numerical cognition are: how is the meaning of numbers represented and accessed? And does the representation or access to the representation differ based on the notation in which numbers are presented? The Triple Code Model posits that, regardless of notation, all numerals access an amodal semantic magnitude representation when participants perform numerical tasks. Early research largely supported the assumptions of the Triple Code Model. However, the vast majority of studies examined how the meaning of numerical symbols is represented and accessed using single-digit numerals. More recent studies have indicated that double-digit numerals may be processed quite differently due to their higher syntactic complexity, but less is known about how the semantic magnitude representation of double-digit numbers is accessed, and research on double-digit numbers in various notations is particularly scarce. I will present two studies which address how the semantic representation of double-digit numerals in Arabic and verbal notations is accessed and whether this differs across different notations.

3:00-3:45 Reading Groups

(Ben Davies) Dawkins, P and Weber, K. (2017). Values and norms of proof for mathematicians and students, Educational Studies in Mathematics, 123-142.  

(Colin Foster) Moreau, Macnamara & Hambrick (2018) Overstating the role of environmental factors in success: A Cautionary Note


4:00-5:00 Kenneth Ruthven (University of Cambridge) Ecological, epistemological and existential challenges of integrating digital tools into school and university mathematics

There has now been over half a century of sustained advocacy and effort directed towards developing the use of digital computational tools within school mathematics. However, whereas the use of such tools is now commonplace in mathematical practice outside school, the degree to which their use has become integral to school mathematics remains limited. This talk will identify three fundamental aspects of challenge to such integration:

• Ecological: adapting the everyday practice of school mathematics to make use of digital tools within the operative constraints of time, space and infrastructure.

• Epistemological: developing disciplinary and didactical knowledge to inform the use of digital tools in school mathematics and the associated evolution of the subject.

• Existential: understanding how (collective and individual) representations, values and identities relating to school mathematics mediate the use (and non-use) of digital tools.

In view of the involvement of MEC in mathematics teaching at university level, I will lay the ground for a discussion of what might be similarities and differences in the way that these challenges play out at the school and university levels.



Contact and booking details

Dr Fenner Tanswell
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Free of charge
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