The problem field of Adults Learning Mathematics        Contents page

Tine Wedege,  Malmö University, Sweden


Tine Wedege is professor in mathematics education, School of Teacher Education, Malmö University, Sweden, and professor II, Department of mathematical sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Her research interests in the area of adults learning mathematics is motivation/resistance, mathematics in the workplace and the research field as such.


In the borderland between mathematics education and adult education a new research field was cultivated, and an international research forum was formed in the 1990’s: Adults Learning Mathematics. The subject area encompasses formal adult mathematics education as well as adults’ non-formal mathematics learning in the communities of everyday practice, e.g. family and workplace. The key concept is numeracy and the problem field is related to adults, mathematics and lifelong education. This lecture presents a present picture of international research in adults learning mathematics with a focus on – and examples from – the interplay between research and education. These are the three classical key issues – what, why and how: What do adults know and have to learn; why do adults (not) learn mathematics; why teach mathematics to adults; and how to teach or what is “best practice” in adult mathematics education. But in adult education and research other issues are necessarily intertwined: Who are the adults, when are they (not) learning and where?