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: January 2021

We wish a happy and healthy 2021 to all our ALM trustees, members, supporters and friends!

Last year has given us all real challenges but also some opportunities to change. For ALM as an organisation, this has been no different. As you know, we had to cancel the ALM conference in Vancouver but by encompassing the expert panel of plenary speakers and aided by technology, the ALM Trustees have developed our series of Virtual Seminars. This has given many more people a chance to share in the thinking, research and expertise of the world of Adults Learning Mathematics. Indeed, at one seminar we had the speaker in Australia, the host in Sweden, the organizer in Canada, and the chair in the UK, with participants from India, South Africa, South America, USA and many European countries. In 2021 we hope you can help us to build on this work and extend our membership and influence further.

During this coming year we will continue to use the bulletin to signpost opportunities to take part in more knowledge transfer through virtual experiences, journals and articles. Let us know if you have any news to contribute either through this bulletin or the ALM website.

Finally, a massive thank you to all of the ALM Trustees for their creativity, enthusiasm and tireless energy which has enabled ALM to upgrade and update the website, develop the virtual seminar series, manage the ALM International Journal, issue a bulletin every two months and plan for future conferences. What a great team!

Beth Kelly
Chair of ALM trustees

ALM Virtual Seminar Series

Our highly successful ALM virtual seminar series, which commenced in 2020, continues with our fourth seminar Adult Maths in Prison Education on Monday 11th January 2021 at 19.00 UTC. Linda Ahl (Sweden) will speak about her research into individualized instruction of mathematics in the Swedish prison education system. Her approach tailors content, technology and pace to each student’s ability and interest, which presents a challenge for adult educators. Adult mathematics students may each have a different prior knowledge of mathematics, as well as negative affective feelings and mathematics anxiety. Her thesis aims to show how to organize individual mathematics instruction for adult students without certification, to give them an opportunity progress and reach their goals. The results lead to a model for Individualized Mathematics Instruction of Adults (MIMIA) in the Swedish prison education programme.

You can register for this event on the ALM website at

Further seminars are planned as follows:

On February 1st 2021, Peter Liljedahl (Vancouver, Canada) will speak about Numeracy vs. Numberacy.

On February 25th, Marta Civil (Arizona, USA) will speak on We also think and solve problems: Mathematical conversations with immigrant adults.

On March 18th 2021, Kees Hoogland and Javier Díez-Palomar (The Netherlands and Spain) will speak on Building a Common European Numeracy Framework (CENF).

Visit to book your place for these seminars.

ALM 28 Hamburg

It has been agreed that the 28th ALM conference hosted by colleagues in Hamburg will be a virtual event. The conference will run from July 5th-7th 2021 with the title of Numeracy and Vulnerability. The organisers are looking forward to receiving contributions that address this issue, for example by exploring the links between numerical competences and practices on the one hand and possible disadvantages in the context of finance and consumption, work and family, health (e.g. context Covid 19) or digitisation on the other. Also of interest are contributions on educational needs and educational policy frameworks that become visible in the context of numeracy and vulnerability. The deadline for session proposals is March 14th, 2021. Abstracts for different forms of presentation and lengths will be welcomed. Further details of these and how to submit a proposal can be found on the ALM website at The site will be regularly updated as more details about the conference are confirmed.

CERME12 starts with virtual pre-event

CERME12 is the 12th congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education. The full (and live!) CERME 12 conference is planned to take place at Bolzano, Italy from in February 2022 but a virtual pre-CERME12 conference will take place in February 2021.

The main pre-CERME event will begin on the afternoon of Tuesday, 2nd of February 2021 at 16:45 (CET) with a short opening ceremony, the first part of the ERME general meeting, followed by a plenary lecture. The plenary lecture will be given by Nathalie Sinclair (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada). The event will end on the afternoon of Friday, 5th of February 2021 with the second part of the ERME general meeting, a topical panel discussion and a short closing ceremony.

One of the Thematic Working groups (TWGs) in the conference that will doubtless be of interest to ALM supporters, is on Adults Mathematics Education, chaired by Kees Hoogland, Beth Kelly, Javier Díez-Palomar, and Fiona Faulkner. Each Thematic Working Group (TWG) will have one 2-hour time slot during the conference for a discussion focused on the TWG theme. There will be no research papers presented at this conference. The session for Adults Mathematics Education (TWG07) will take place on Wednesday 3rd February 2021 from 10:00-12:00 (CET).

There is NO charge for this virtual conference event. However, you must register in advance to attend the conference and/or the TWG07 meeting. The deadline is 23:00 (CET) on Monday January 11th, 2021. The registration form can be found here.

Erasmus+ project Common European Numeracy Framework - first results

The Erasmus+ project Common European Numeracy Framework aims to design a conceptual framework and a set of professional development modules to improve adult numeracy education in Europe. The framework brings together – based on scientific research and practitioners’ experiences - all relevant aspects when aiming for improvement in the quality of the numerate behaviour of citizens and professionals.

This project commenced in 2018 with project partners from Austria (BFI-OÖ), Spain (University of Barcelona), Ireland (University of Limerick), and the Netherlands (HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht) and is planned to be completed in 2021. The first results will be presented by Kees Hoogland and Javier Díez-Palomar in a webinar on 18th March at 19:00 (UTC) as a joint Erasmus+ International Multiplier Event and an ALM Virtual Seminar. You can register for this seminar at

Doctoral thesis

We are pleased to announce that another doctoral student, Maria del Socorro O Campo (University of Barcelona), has recently completed a thesis about adult learning of mathematics, entitled "Dialogic mathematical gatherings for the learning of mathematics in adult women without schooling and without an academic degree.”

This dissertation is devoted to analysis of how Dialogic Mathematics Gatherings contribute to educational inclusion and empowerment for critical use of mathematics by a group of women without academic degrees. The study was conducted in two settings (Barcelona and Mexico City). Women shared readings on mathematics, using egalitarian dialogue (Flecha, 2000) to share their thoughts and meanings concerning the mathematical ideas coming out from the readings. Participating within the DMGs, the women transformed their attitude towards mathematics and became more confident. They enhanced their ability to use and talk about mathematics, making links to their own lives. All of them felt empowered after participating in the DMG.

Additional information about DMGs can be found in the following publication:
Díez-Palomar, J. (2019). Dialogic mathematics gatherings: Encouraging the other women’s critical thinking on numeracy. ZDM, 1-15.

ALM Membership

The work of ALM relies heavily on the commitment and energy of our members. We would be grateful if members would remember to renew their membership early in the New Year 2021. Readers of the bulletin who are not yet members are encouraged to consider joining our international community and by so doing adding their support for the aims and associated work of ALM. The link for renewal or new membership is

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 March 1st 2021.

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