ALM28 Conference: Numeracy and Vulnerability

 The ALM28 conference will be  virtual conference from the 5th to the 7th July 2021 organised by the Hamburg University.

The keynotes will address a broad spectrum of themes related to the theme of the conference. We managed to confirm a series of excellent speakers.
See leaflet: ALM28 leaflet.pdf

Next to the key notes, there will be a selected number of presentations and workshops in parallel sessions.

Click on the items below for more information:
Conference theme

Numeracy and Vulnerability

Research on numeracy often takes the form of large-scale quantitative studies, a prominent example being the PIAAC study (OECD, 2019). Numeracy is understood here as a measurable construct, and numerical competence can be related to various socio-demographic and socio-economic factors. Numeracy as a social practice, on the other hand (Yasukawa et al., 2018) is more the subject of smaller qualitative studies. Regardless of the approach taken, numeracy can be related to exclusion from participation. Low numerical skills and the infrequent practice of numerical practices can, it is assumed, lead to increased vulnerability (Gal et al. 2020) to social disadvantage or exclusion among individuals and social groups.

The ALM Conference in Hamburg in 2021 will focus on this connection between numeracy and vulnerability. We are looking forward to 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.

Gal, Iddo; Grotlüschen, Anke; Tout, Dave; Kaiser, Gabriele (2020): Numeracy, adult education, and vulnerable adults: a critical view of a neglected field. In: ZDM Mathematics Education, 1–18. DOI: 10.1007/s11858-020-01155-9.

OECD (2019): Skills Matter. Additional Results from the Survey of Adult Skills. Paris: OECD Publishing (OECD skills studies).

Yasukawa, Keiko; Rogers, Alan; Jackson, Kara; Street, Brian (Hg.) (2018): Numeracy as Social Practice. Global and Local Perspectives. New York.

Keynote Themes

The main theme of the conference will be the link between adult’s numeracy and their individual and/or societal vulnerability. Specific topics of the conference will be:

  • The general relationship between numeracy and vulnerability

       keynote by Anke Grotlüschen

  • Current and future numeracy challenges related to digitalisation

       keynote by Suzanne Smythe

  • Climate change and mathematics education

       pre-recorded webinar by Chris Budd with discussion afterward

  • Financial numeracy

       keynote by José Julián Cao-Alvira

  • The international reproduction of vulnerability in numeracy assessments

       keynote by Gelsa Knijnik

  • Covid-19 and numeracy challenges

Session Proposals

Call for Session Proposals!

Session proposals are due on April 8th, 2021. Please follow this link  in order to submit a (max. 250 words) proposal.

In order to submit your abstract, you will need to register with Indico. If your institution is not listed for the ‘University login’, please register with Indico in order to submit your abstract. If there are problems with submitting your abstract with the website, please feel free to send it via e-mail to

Abstracts for the following forms of presentation will be welcomed:
– Long presentation (45 Min)
– Short presentation (20-30 Min)
– Workshop (90 Min)
– Poster presentation

You will get a reply from the organising committee by April 30th.

Your abstract should be between 150 and 250 words. When your abstract has been accepted for the conference, you will be asked to provide a longer abstract of up to 1000 words.

We will inform you on the acceptance of the short abstracts around April 30th and the longer, revised abstracts will be due on Mai 31st.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact
To be scheduled as presenter after acceptance of your submission, you have to register as conference participant. Registration for the conference will start in mid January 2021.

To be scheduled as presenter after acceptance of your submission, you have to register as conference participant.

Programme Committee and Organizing Committee

Programme Committee

  • Jeff Evans
  • Lisanne Heilmann
  • Kees Hoogland
  • Beth Kelly
  • Jenny Stacey

Local Organising Committee (Hamburg)

Social program


Registration and payment module

We welcome you to our conference and invite you to be part of it. Registration will start mid January. You can register for the conference here.

The conference fee will be EUR 30 (EUR 35 after 31st May 2021).
We encourage all members to join us for the virtual banquet dinner. Additional guest can register for the conference dinner. The conference meal (breakfast/ lunch/ dinner – depending on your time zone) is expected to take place on Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 8 pm ECT.

For those having difficulty participating at the conference, particularly from countries that typically have low representation at the conference, and those with little to no funding to attend such a conference, there are free tickets available. Please see the next tab for details on financial support options and how to apply.

Financial support to attend conference

ALM provides financial support to practitioners and researchers from institutions involved in Adults Learning Mathematics with limited resources to visit international conferences such as ALM28. To apply for financial support, please complete the bursary form attached here: ALM_bursaryform_2021, and email it to Support is given on a first-come-first-served basis. For additional questions, please contact the ALM treasurer directly by e-mailing

Photo: Jeff Evans, ALM. To the left: Hamburg Opera house. In the middle: Hamburg by night. To the right: The canals of Hamburg. 

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