Characterizing Swedish school algebra – initial findings from analyses of steering documents, textbooks and teachers’ discourses
Paper i proceeding, 2018
The paper reports the first results of an ongoing research project aiming at characterizing Swedish school algebra (grades 1-9). Both diachronic and synchronic studies are conducted to identify the specific teaching tradition developed in Sweden and different theoretical approaches are applied in the overall project in order to obtain a rich picture of the Swedish case. The results reported here are based on the analyses of mathematics curriculum, textbooks and focus group interviews with teachers in seven schools. The initial results indicate that, since 1980s, algebra is vaguely addressed in the steering documents and the progression of algebraic thinking is elusive in teachers' discourses. Moreover, certain important ideas, such as generalized arithmetic, are largely missing in the curriculum and mathematics textbooks for grades 1-6. We discuss the implications of the initial findings for our project.