Faculty of Mathematics

The Didactics of Mathematics

Mathematics represents a central element of education, which implies that the training of mathematics teachers constitutes an important task. The research groups in the field of didactics make important contributions to this end, and their work covers various areas of field-specific didactics for all school levels. The  didactics of mathematics field was successfully restructured in recent years: Prof. Steinbring, Prof. Jahnke and Prof. Hefendehl-Hebeker remain available to the Faculty as senior professors while all three professor positions have been newly appointed.

In the Scherer research group “learning process and class research”, projects on the analysis of instruction processes and individual learning processes are carried out, particularly from the perspective of handicapped learning processes as well as on the handling of heterogeneity in mathematics lessons or inclusive mathematics instruction, respectively. Prof. Petra Scherer is also heading the “Heterogeneous learning groups - primary field” division of the German Centre for Teacher’s Education (DZLM, funded by the German Telekom Foundation, second phase from 2016 to 2019). This project is primarily concerned with the professionalization of teachers and multipliers, and with conceptual developments in the area of continued education of teachers. “Support diagnostic competences”, among others, are investigated as part of the project. Further research activities are carried out within the ProViel project (“Teacher Education Quality Offensive”, funded by BMBF). Prof. Petra Scherer is coordinating the acting field “Diversity and inclusion” (in cooperation with Annemarie Fritz-Stratmann) and is also heading the “Mathematics inclusively” project part, which develops and evaluates concepts for the education of teachers. Moreover, learning processes in heterogeneous groups are studied in the research group in the “Mathe-Spürnasen” (school laboratory) project. The project received the UDE Diversity Award for Research in 2016.The Barzel research group is characterised by the two emphases of digitalization and teachers’ training. In cooperation with the DZLM, the continued education of multipliers is organized in the scope of the division headed by Prof. Bärbel Barzel and investigated in different doctoral and habilitation projects. The findings and results in the finished EU project FaSMED (Improving Progress for Lower Achievers through Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education) are currently being transferred into the “Bildungsgerechtigkeit im Fokus” project. The developed digital learning environment for self-diagnosis and self-support is being developed further for the assistance of students. The project “T3” (Teachers Teaching with Technology) has been established at the UDE since 2013 and, with its large network of instructors and researchers, contributes to the training of teachers in the reasonable use of technology in school lessons in mathematics and the natural sciences. A project funded by DAAD supports the specific exchange with colleagues from Australia on the conception of teachers’ education about the digitalization of school lessons.

In the research group led by Prof. Andreas Büchter, the research emphasis on the transition from school to university and on the study entrance phase in fields with stronger mathematical content has been built up step by step since 2014. In this context, third-party funds from the BMBF project at the UDE “Bildungsgerechtigkeit im Fokus II”, as well as those coming from the university and the Faculty, are employed in order to understand the challenges during the study entrance phase more accurately and to develop suitable supportive measures. In the scope of the UDE project “ProViel”, also funded by the BMBF, instruments for the recording of the specific scientific and educational professional knowledge of master students are developed, with which the quality assurance and the development of the study programs can be made in an evidence-based manner. After the conclusion of the project “Investigation of the Interplay of Lingual and Conceptual Characteristics Associated with Mathematical problems – Empirical Analyses with Experimental Design”, the research emphasis on “language competence and mathematical learning” will be intensely studied by qualifying theses.

Finally, approaches for the materially-supported learning in mathematics lessons will be investigated in the scope of the, by now finished, “Mathematical school laboratory”. The research group led by Prof. Benjamin Rott is dedicated to the investigation of mathematical processes for problem handling (focusing on heurism and process regulation) and epistemological convictions in relation to mathematics. Furthermore, a third-party funded project on talent research (MBF2) was carried out successfully.

On one hand, the research focus of Prof. Florian Schacht is the use of digital tools in the teaching of mathematics. This includes the investigation of the possibilities of using interactive whiteboards in the teachers’ training. A second research emphasis lies on inclusion-oriented questions of common learning in mathematics lessons.