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.

Welcome to the post ALM 29 Bulletin

It was so inspiring to able to meet in person in Barcelona for the ALM 29 conference and have a chance to discuss ideas and share experiences with colleagues from across the globe. This bulletin includes a few reflections from participants who were able to attend the ALM 29 Conference in Barcelona. Being in Barcelona meant that we had a range of languages spoken during the conference including Catalan, Spanish and English which made for some interesting translations, as you can imagine. The keynotes were inspiring, while the workshops and seminars were a variety of thought-provoking and learning experiences.
At the AGM all the current trustees were re-elected, and Niamh O’Meara was added to the group as she will be our link to the University of Limerick who will be hosting ALM 30 from July 3-5th 2023. We also discussed the possibility of holding face-to-face conferences every two years and virtual conferences, or a series of seminars, in the alternate years. It was recognised that the virtual interactions enabled a wider audience to join in with ALM events, but of course could not replace the personal experience when meeting people in a physical space. This idea is open for consultation, and I would welcome opinions from members. If you have a viewpoint, please do let me know at
Have a restful summer break,
Beth Kelly
Chair of ALM trustees

ALM 29 Barcelona - reflections from participants

ALM 29 in Barcelona provided a great opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones. It was such a pleasure to be hosted by the University of Barcelona and spend time discussing the issues that are so important to us as educators and researchers of adults learning mathematics. Here are some reflections from a small number of those who were able to attend. We hope these will bring back happy memories for some people and give others an appetite to book early for ALM 30! Presentations and photographs will also be appearing on the ALM 29 webpage soon for those who would like further insight.
Laia Saló i Nevado (Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki) writes:

ALM29 in Barcelona is over. Yes, the "physical" part is over: plenaries in Sala de Graus, meaningful discussions and commentaries in the corridors, curious questions and answers after parallel sessions in Edifici Llevant, and vivid conversations at the workshops...

But the "mental" part of ALM29 is still active and it might be for a while. As I believe many others did, I got inspired by and took home some of those shared experiences. Experiences such as, for example, the soft and kind approach to the prisoners incentivizing a good disposition to learn mathematics, the importance to choose examples familiar to the students in order to recognize different funds of knowledge, or the value of tales in short-text format to promote interdisciplinary work.

I feel privileged to have had the chance to listen, reflect and exchange views with such wonderful experts and professionals.

Jonson Ney Dias da Silva and Samuel Dias Alvas (State University of Southwest Bahia, Brazil) reflect on their experiences as follows:

The event through the lectures, workshops, and seminars made it possible to glimpse an idea of adults learning mathematics that is broader than the context experienced in Brazil. Discussions about Prison Education, for example, showing perspectives on working with immigrant students and a way to work with them, such as the guiding questions approach that was presented in Tatiana Harrison's Workshop. Moreover, works such as the games developed in David Kaye's Workshop, Tesa and Nadine's work with non-teaching students, and many other discussions that we had during the event, made us reflect about what is the true concept of Adult Education and the wide implementation of numeracy within all contexts and problematizations. We believe that the participation in the event will stretch in our research group new looks and perspectives of studies, allowing the interlocution with researchers from other countries that were present in the event.
Trude Sundtjønn (Oslo Metropolitan University) adds:

This year’s conference has been really interesting, and it is lovely to finally be meeting people I have only seen online, and lots of new people as well for good conversations. I especially enjoyed learning more about funds of knowledge (Marta Civil), and I am thinking on how this can be adopted in a Norwegian setting. I also got to hear more about cabinet makers mathematics – quite interesting especially since I have read Saló i Nevado’s previous article about this, and how she is continuing her collaboration with the cabinet maker to further explore how problem solving is used in the vocation.

And here is a final note from Violeta Morari (Munster Technological University, Cork, Ireland):

One of many things of importance to adult learners highlighted during the ALM 29 conference is the key role of the support network around anyone returning to study mathematics.
Many thanks to the organisers, trustees and helpers of ALM 29. The conference, as always, gave plenty of food for thought and ideas around improving the accessibility and delivery of mathematics.

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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 Diane Dalby or send her a short draft item for the next bulletin by September 1st 2022.

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