In 1996, Andrejs Dunkels (1939-1998), as one of the first in Sweden, was awarded a PhD in “matematik med ämnesdidaktisk inriktning” (“mathematics with a subject-didactical dimension”). The title of the thesis was Contributions to Mathematical Knowledge and its Acquisition. Mogens Niss (Roskilde University, Denmark) acted as opponent, and the viva lasted several hours. Andrejs Dunkels was active at the Department of Mathematics at Luleå University of Technology, and had been working at the (then) University College in Luleå since 1973. The Department of Mathematics in Luleå subsequently installed Sweden’s first professorial chair in Mathematics Education. From April 2007 the chair is held by Eva Jablonka. The Mathematics Education group (MaLiL, Matematik och Lärande i Luleå) now belongs to the Department of Arts, Communication and Education.
The research in Mathematics Education at Luleå University of Technology has a wide, cross-disciplinary basis, and provides an important scientific foundation for the teacher education at the university. The main areas of research comprise empirical research, such as international comparative classroom studies; curriculum research (content and function of textbooks and achievement tests, conceptions of mathematical literacy, didactic transposition and proof); relations between forms of classroom-interaction and mathematical content; success in school mathematics in relation to gender, socio-economic and cultural background; and professional development of teachers in the context of national reform-initiatives. The MaLiL group conducts research in collaboration with national and international research teams. External research grants have contributed to the growth of the group during the last few years.
The MaLiL group is responsible for courses in mathematics education at undergraduate and graduate level. Furthermore, in cooperation with many of the region’s municipalities the group engages in pedagogic development-projects focused on mathematics teaching.
The MaLiL group runs regular seminars where current research issues, literature and school policy are discussed.