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The ALM bulletin is a bimonthly newsletter from Adults Learning Mathematics (ALM).

ALM is an international research forum bringing together researchers and practitioners in adult mathematics/numeracy teaching and learning in order to promote the learning of mathematics by adults.

ALM Bulletin: March 2024

Welcome to the ALM bulletin for March 2024. This issue contains important new information about the ALM conference to be held in July 2024, plus details of our next virtual seminar which is coming up very soon in April. We also have exciting news of a new publication about Adult education in mathematics and numeracy, a new research project in Denmark and announcements about other events of interest to the ALM community later this year, and beyond.


As you may have noticed, our ALM conference this year takes a new format, and we are keen to see how this works so please do try to support the conference in whatever way you can. The ALM 31 planning committee are very grateful for the international team of volunteers who are working alongside them in this innovative venture. The submission process for abstracts is now open so please consider sending in a proposal for a presentation. Most importantly, do try to join us on July 1 st and 2 nd , either online or at one of the two face-to-face venues.

We have one more chance to meet before the conference though, at our ALM virtual seminar in April, where we will be hearing from an expert on Dyscalculia and discussing how this affects adults learning mathematics. These events are valuable ways of sharing knowledge and widening our understanding so I would encourage you to make the most of the opportunities and add your own unique contribution to the ALM community.


Diane Dalby
Chair of ALM trustees

ALM31 conference - abstract submission

We are pleased to announce that proposals for individual presentations at ALM 31 can now be submitted via the conference website at https://alm-online.net/alm31/. The ALM 31 programme committee would welcome proposals for presentations about research or practice related to the conference theme Relationships with Mathematics in Adult Learning. These might include areas such as those below, but other aspects are also acceptable:
  • adults’ responses to the changing demands for numeracy or mathematics in their personal and working lives;
  • adults’ emotional or motivational responses to learning of mathematics or numeracy;
  • relationships concerning policy and practice for adult mathematics or numeracy.
    Further details can be found on the ALM 31 conference website but please note the final date for submissions is May 3rd 2024.

ALM 31 conference - venues

All participants will be able to attend ALM 31 online but there is the option of meeting in person for the following two clusters, as detailed below:
  • Europe: meeting in Lund, Sweden.
  • Ireland/UK: meeting in Dublin, Ireland.

Virtual seminar - April 15th 2024

The final event in our ALM virtual seminar series for 2023/24 will be held on Monday April 15 th , 7- 8 pm UK time. We will be joined by Rob Jennings, co-founder of The Dyscalculia Network (www.dyscalculianetwork.com), who brings over 15 years of extensive experience in teaching young people with special needs, particularly focusing on supporting children struggling with maths. Rob will be speaking on the topic Dyscalculia Uncovered: The Big Questions. Further information about how to register will be available on the website very soon but here is Rob’s abstract for the session.

Dyscalculia, a specific learning difficulty affecting mathematical abilities, remains a critical concern in adult maths education. This virtual seminar, led by Rob Jennings of The Dyscalculia Network, will delve into the complexities of Dyscalculia, shedding light on its definition, prevalence, and effective intervention strategies, including the crucial role of maths games in fostering understanding and engagement. Identifying indicators of Dyscalculia and discussing the "Jenga effect" on mathematical learning, the seminar underscores the challenges students face and the necessity of creating a secure foundation in maths education. Join us to learn more about Dyscalculia, related findings, and to discuss these findings with colleagues from ALM.

New publication - Adult education in mathematics and numeracy

We are delighted to share this review, authored by Iddo Gal, and entitled Adult education in mathematics and numeracy - A scoping review of recent research, which has recently been published by ZDM. There are references to several papers by ALM members, but the document also includes a
review of the ALM International Journal (ALM-IJ) itself. As one of only 22 journals reviewed, ALM-IJ is acknowledged as contributing prominently to new knowledge as per practice-related articles, which is a unique affirmation of the journal’s importance. Overall, the review confirms empirically a long held claim that the field of Adults Learning Mathematics is under-researched. The publication adds weight to the existing literature on ALM-related issues and we hope that the affirmation of ALM-IJ as a significant contributor to the field will motivate new efforts in this area from ALM members.

Please note that ALM-IJ editorial team are always interested in new proposals for papers about adults learning mathematics, from both researchers and practitioners. You can find further information about publishing in our ALM International Journal at https://alm-online.net/alm-
journal/.

New research project in Denmark

We have news of a new research project in Denmark of interest to ALM members: Project on making mathematics more accessible and relevant to vocational students (KLUMP). The project is named KLUMP which is an acronym of its Danish name: KompetenceLøft af Undervisere i Matematik På
erhvervsskoler.

A consortium consisting of Aalborg University (AAU), the Danish National Centre for the Development of the Teaching of Mathematics (NCUM) and Tradium Vocational School in Randers in Denmark are collaborating on a project funded by the Novo Nordisk foundation Frontpage - Novo Nordisk Fonden). Students at the Tradium Vocational School are from 16 years to 45 years old, and most students are from 17 to 29 years old. Tradium offers commercial/business education and technical education and training.

In the KLUMP project seven pairs of teachers are formed, with each pair consisting of one mathematics teacher and one teacher in a vocational subject with a mathematical content. Each pair of teachers collaborate in developing new teaching module plans with the intention of making mathematics more accessible and relevant for vocational students. The plans include teaching ideas and approaches and teaching materials, which the teachers try out, evaluate, and refine. During the development process for each teaching module plan, the teacher pair gets feedback for further reflection from consultants, researchers and the other pairs.

Several teaching modules will be developed during the project period and made available online. This effort intends to help decrease dropout rates for mathematics. Many students fail to see the connection between mathematics and their profession, losing their enthusiasm for learning. At the end of the project, vocational teachers from Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland will be invited to a conference where the results will be presented.

Website: https://www.en.tech.aau.dk/new-teaching-methods-aims-to-give-vocational-students-more-appetite-for-mathematics-n99192

National Numeracy Network conference

The National Numeracy Network, once of your partner organisations, is excited to announce that their 2024 Annual Meeting will be held from Friday, November 8th, 2024 to Sunday, November 10th, 2024, at George Brown College and the Fields Institute (University of Toronto) in Toronto, Canada.

As has been the case since 2020, the meeting will be available online for those who are unable to attend in person. A form for submitting presentation proposals will be available in April and registration will take place from May. In the interim period, NNN are asking those who anticipate attending (whether online or in person) to fill out the 5-question form here:
https://forms.gle/aD94bH87zhoXKJ5M6. Responses are not binding but the form will help with the planning of the meeting.

CERME 14

CERME 14 will provide a great opportunity to meet with others who are interested in mathematics education. We are particularly excited because this time there will be a new thematic working group on adult mathematics education (TWG7). This will allow those with a special interest in adult
mathematics education to meet and discuss current issues in this field. The conference will take place in Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, February 4-8 th, 2025. The TWG leaders are keen to receive proposals for papers and posters on relevant topics to make this new group a success. Further information is
available on the CERME 14 website but please note that the deadline for submission of papers and poster proposals is September 15, 2024.

ALM Membership

The work of ALM is carried out by volunteers who give up their own time to plan seminars, arrange conferences and produce the ALM international journal. However, there are costs involved and we appreciate the support received from ALM members in the form of membership fees to enable this
work to continue. If you are not currently a member of ALM, you can find further information about how to join on the ALM website at https://alm-online.net/become-a-member/. By becoming a member, you are simply showing your support for the work of ALM, which is a registered charity.

Future bulletins

We hope that you are enjoying the regular ALM bulletin. If you have news from your part of the world that may be of interest to our international community, then please do get in touch with Linda Jarlskog at linda.jarlskog@lund.se or Lena Lindeskov at lenali@edu.au.dk send her a short draft item for the next bulletin by May 1st 2024.

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