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“Development of Algebraic Thought” (research group of Prof. Lisa Hefendehl-Hebeker) is a main research focus and examines how to help schoolchildren in years 5 to 7 develop skills to recognise and describe patterns, and ultimately how to guide schoolchildren towards an understanding and use of the language of elementary algebraic formula. The focus of “Integration of expert and methodological knowledge in teacher training” is on developing concepts to provide a suitable link between theoretical and practical aspects of teacher training. In cooperation with Prof. Gebhard Böckle (Number Theory and Arithmetic Geometry), funds for targeted, specialist support of teacher trainees during their basic studies were acquired from the Deutsche Telekom Foundation.
The working group of Prof. Hans Niels Jahnke is pursuing projects relating to the genesis of argumentation and proof and the process of solving word problems. A comparative empirical study to promote the understanding of mathematics through historical references is close to completion. As a member of the International Program Committee, Hans Niels Jahnke also took part in ICMI Study 19 “Proof and Proving in Mathematics Education”, and in 2008 he served as co-chair of a Top Study Group at the 11th International Congress on Mathematical Education.
The working group on “Epistemological Interaction Research of Mathematical Teaching / Learning Processes (EInmaL)”, led by Prof. Heinz Steinbring, undertakes projects on interpretative reconstruction of interactive mathematical knowledge constructions (in lessons) and raising professionalism among mathematics teachers. Subprojects include: “Gradations during changes in the levels of representation”, “Mathematical Discussions with Children – Individual diagnosis and support”, “Mathematics lessons in mixed-age instruction groups 1 and 2 – Interaction and Intervention”, “The development of reflexive mathematical abilities in schoolchildren in the social context of mixed-age mathematics instruction”, and “Development of the capacity for visual structuring”.
In spring 2008, Elke Söbbeke was awarded the “Förderpreis” of the Gesellschaft für Didaktik der Mathematik (Society for Mathematical Didactics, GDM).