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Promoting students' and prospective teachers' understanding of the role of assumptions in Mathematics


19 Apr blackboard covered with numbers and maths symbols - 780x440 Part of CRESTEM seminar series

This is a hybrid event; attendees can either join in person or on Zoom. If the latter, please click on the 'Register for this event' button in the top right corner of this webpage, and fill in the form.

If you would prefer to attend in person, the seminar will take place in Room G/8, in the Waterloo Bridge Wing of Franklin Wilkins Building, King's College London, Stamford Street, SE1 9NH. If you are not a member of CRESTEM, please email to RSVP.


Although the notion of assumptions is important in mathematical activity at all levels, there is limited research on how to help students and prospective teachers understand the role of assumptions in mathematics.

In this talk, Prof Stylianides will discuss parts of two interventions that were designed to promote the aforementioned learning goal: one at the school level with secondary students in Japan and another at the teacher education level with prospective elementary teachers in the United States. The design of both interventions centered around the notion of productive ambiguity in the context of deliberately ambiguous tasks where the role of assumptions surfaced naturally and was utilised in purposeful ways. The intervention at the teacher education level further designed opportunities for prospective teachers to intertwine their mathematical learning related to the role of assumptions with pedagogical awareness, thereby developing their mathematical knowledge for teaching.

Speaker: Prof Andreas Stylianides

Andreas Stylianides is Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Cambridge and the Chair of the Faculty of Education’s Mathematics Education Research Group. He has published widely in mathematics education and beyond, and serves on the editorial boards of several international research journals. He is a Visiting Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

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