Mathematics is a core element of school education and of teaching degree programmes. The work of the research groups in the area of didactics covers a large number of topics in mathematical didactics for all school types and levels.
In the research group of Professor Lisa ­Hefendehl-Hebeker, “Development of Algebraic Thinking for Grades 5-7” continues to be one of the research priorities. Another, “Integration of mathematical and didactical knowledge in teacher education,” is aimed at the development of concepts that appropriately link mathematical and didactic skills within the teaching degree programme. The research and development ­project funded by the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung for systematic specialist supervision of teaching programme candidates during their basic study period has completed its third round and is currently being evaluated. The leader of the research group has been invited to give a talk on this subject as one of the keynote speakers at a conference of the Kompetenzzentrum Hochschuldidaktik Mathematik (KHDM, Competence Center University Didactics in Mathematics) in Paderborn in February of 2013.
The research group of Professor Hans Niels Jahnke works on projects dealing with the genesis of argumentation and proof and with the process of solving word problems. In more concrete terms, current projects include “Understanding-oriented access to proving”, “Developing and ­applying definitions in lower secondary classrooms” and “Composition of situational models in ­complex word problems”.
In the “Lernprozess- und Unterrichtsforschung” (Learning Process and Classroom Research) group (Professor Petra Scherer), projects are conducted in the analysis of difficulties in learning processes, with a particular emphasis on hindered learning processes and dealing with heterogeneity in maths teaching. The head of the research group is also head of the “Inclusion and Students at Risk” ­department of the German Centre of Mathematics Teacher Education (DZLM, funded by the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung). This project is predominantly concerned with professionalization in teaching and development of concepts in continuing teacher education. The following subprojects are currently in progress: “Learners’ Pre-Concepts of Negatives Prior to Instruction”, “Learning Processes in Heterogenous Learning Groups – Analysis in Mixed Age Mathematics Classes”, “Diagnosis and Advancement in Math Classes of Lower ­Secondary Education”, plus “Comparative Study on the Use of Mathematics Textbooks in ­Germany and Korea”.
In “Epistemological Interaction Research of Mathematical Teaching and Learning processes (EInmaL)” (research group of Professor Heinz Steinbring), projects deal with the interpretative reconstruction of mathematical knowledge ­constructions (in elementary schools) and professionalization of teaching. The following subprojects are currently taking place: “Testing and Evaluation of Focused Teaching Strategies in ­Elementary Level Mathematics Classes”, “Elementary School Children Interpret Visual Aids: An Epistemological Analysis of Context and Framework Regarding the Promotion of the ­Visual Structuring Competence” (funded by the BMBF), “Elementary stochastic Vision in Elementary Schools – Epistemological Foundation and Empirical Testing of a Theoretical Construct”.
The research groups cooperate with numerous other groups on a national and international scale.