ALM 2023/24 Virtual Seminar Series

ALM is pleased to announce that following the success of the Virtual Seminar Series in 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23 we continued with a series in 2023/24.

About ALM’s virtual seminar – April 2024

Watch the seminar on our Youtube channel.

Seminar Title: Dyscalculia Uncovered: The Big Questions

Speaker: Rob Jennings

About Rob Jennings and his presentation

Bio: Rob Jennings, co-founder of The Dyscalculia Network (www.dyscalculianetwork.com), brings over 15 years of extensive experience in teaching young people with special needs, particularly focusing on supporting children struggling with Maths. As Head of Maths at Emerson House LLP and Head of Learning Support at Westminster Abbey Choir School, Rob collaborated with educators and parents to design personalized intervention plans for pupils. He is a Certified Educational Assessor and a member of The British Psychological Society, showcasing his expertise in understanding and addressing learning difficulties. In December 2023, Rob was voted onto the Crested Council (https://crested.org.uk/index.html) to represent issues about Dyscalculia and Maths Difficulties throughout specialist schools in this country. Rob’s upcoming publication with Jessica Kingsley, The Maths and Dyscalculia Assessment, further establishes his commitment to improving educational outcomes for students with Dyscalculia and maths difficulties.

Abstract: 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.

About ALM’s virtual seminar – January 2024

Watch the seminar on our Youtube channel.

Seminar Title: Engaging with maths: facing up to the challenges for organisations and students

Speaker: Diane Dalby (UK)

About Diane Dalby and her presentation
Diane is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Mathematics Education, University of Nottingham. She previously worked in Further Education colleges in England for over 20 years, in various management and teaching roles, before commencing a full-time doctorate at the university and later progressing to her current role. Her doctoral study focused on the experiences of vocational students learning functional mathematics in Further Education colleges and Diane has since worked on several national and international mathematics research projects. Her research interests include the teaching of mathematics in post-16 education for disaffected and low-attaining students, the post-16 mathematics curriculum, the enactment of policy in Further Education and the positioning of mathematics within vocational education. Diane has also been active for many years as an educational consultant, trainer and external examiner, taking a special interest in mathematics teaching and FE management.
Abstract: A lack of engagement with maths is a common issue faced by teachers in schools, vocational colleges and other educational settings. Although the learning context may differ, there are recurring themes in students’ experiences of society and education that influence their response to maths. In this seminar a multi-level approach will be taken to explore the issues and discuss approaches used by individual teachers and whole organisations to engage and motivate young adults. Recent research in England on the development of a Whole College Approach (WCA) will be examined that focuses strongly on ways of improving student engagement with maths through changes in both management strategies and classroom practice.

During the seminar there will be an opportunity to consider perspectives from practitioners and researchers before spending time in small groups discussing how the approaches might be applied in different settings.

About ALM’s virtual seminar in December 2023

You can watch the seminar on our YouTube channel.
Arkenbacks seminar can be viewed separately here.
Three short 10 minute presentations followed by discussions on:
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  • Unraveling Graphical Literacy: Investigating Students’ : Interpretations of Visual Data in Print and Digital Media’ – Debasmita Basu
  • ‘Teaching data visualization and text analysis to fight anti-trans legislation’ – Victor Piercey
  • ‘Why people misinterpret visuals’- Charlotte Arkenback

About Debasmita Basu and her presentation

Debasmita Basu is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning, and the Director of Quantitative Reasoning Program at The New School. Born and brought up in India, Debasmita came to the United States to pursue her doctoral studies in 2014 at Montclair State University, New Jersey. Before that, she was a high school mathematics teacher in India for four years. During her time teaching there, she was dismayed that her students tended to consider mathematics as a set of rules and formulas with little to no connection to their lives. Hence, with the greater goal of changing the nature of school mathematics, Debasmita started her doctoral studies. Her research agenda focuses on designing mathematical activities that aim to cultivate students’ critical consciousness towards various social and environmental justice issues and help them realize the power and value of mathematics. Such activities develop within students an appreciation towards the utilitarian value of mathematics in their daily lives and use mathematics literacy to understand social and environmental phenomena relevant to their lives.

Abstract: Today, most newspapers, and television employ various forms of visualizations to present complex information in simple and accessible ways. Visual representations can highlight important numerical information in an article that might otherwise be overlooked or difficult to comprehend. Although graphical representations of data are prevalent in news media, misleading graphs are equally widespread, making readers vulnerable to false information. Under such circumstances, it is crucial to reimagine graphical literacy and provide students with ample opportunities to engage with and interpret graphs on real-life data. Consequently, in this project, we worked with undergraduate students to study their graphical comprehension when they encounter graphs published in print and digital media and governmental websites. Inspired by Curcio’s (1987) seminal work on students’ graphical comprehension through reading the data, reading between the data, and reading beyond the data, we focused on students’ ability to extract data from graphs (reading the data), identify relationships between variables presented in graphs (reading between the data), and make inferences about underlying structures of information displayed (reading beyond the data). In this presentation, we will present the findings of our study, and will identify various causes that influence students’ graphical interpretations.

About Victor Piercey and his presentation

Victor Piercey is the Honors Program Director and Professor of Mathematics at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. His teaching and work surrounds intersections of quantitative reasoning, data science, and social justice. He holds a B.A. in Humanities from Michigan State University, a J.D. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Arizona.

Abstract: Was 2023 the year of anti-trans legislation? We examine visual representations of data tracking anti-trans legislation introduced, passed, and signed across the states over the last several years in order to assess this question, ask other questions, and identify challenges in reading graphs and charts. We will also examine frequent word distributions in the text of sample bills to identify what we can learn from text visualizations.

About Charlotte Arkenback

Charlotte Arkenback is a Senior Lecturer in Pedagogy and a Postdoctoral Researcher in Applied IT at the Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her current research project, funded by the Swedish Retail and Wholesale Council, aims to explore the potential of digitalisation and immersive technologies in designing continuous skill development programs for salespeople working in physical retail. As a senior lecturer, Charlotte’s primary responsibility is to oversee the mathematical courses offered in the Special Education Teacher Program. This is an advanced-level supplementary education program designed for individuals who already hold a teaching degree and have at least three years of teaching experience. The program covers mathematical learning and difficulties experienced by children, students, and adult learners in formal education. The main focus of the math courses is to develop knowledge and skills to conduct pedagogical mapping and assessment in mathematics for learners who have difficulties with math. The courses also aim to help identify the need for pedagogical development in schools, with a focus on math teaching, and suggest development projects to support students’ math development. Charlotte lectures on various topics in the math courses, including the relationship between neuropsychiatric disabilities (NPF), visuospatial abilities, and mathematical difficulties. Charlotte is one of the trustees of ALM for the years 2023-2024.

You can watch previous webinars on our YouTube channel

ALM Virtual Seminar Organising Committee

  • Charlotte Arkenback (Sweden)
  • Catherine Byrne (Ireland)
  • Kees Hoogland (The Netherlands)
  • Linda Jarlskog (Sweden)
  • Beth Kelly (UK)
  • Judy Larsen (Canada)