MA3061 - Epistemological Knowledge for Mathematics Teachers


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2020/2021

Course content

In this course, one will work on design, realization, analysis, and validation of mathematics teaching, where epistemological models of the target knowledge play an important role. The analytical framework will be ‘The theory of didactical situations in mathematics’, with didactical engineering as research methodology. Central concepts are: adidactical situation; milieu; didactical contract; didactical phenomenon; and, three functionalities assigned to the mathematical knowledge at stake. Further, one will work on semiotic representations and their significance in mathematics. Rooted in the theory of the course, the student shall design a teaching sequence with a chosen piece of mathematical knowledge for one of the grades 8 – 13, implement the sequence with pupils, and analyse its results.

Learning outcome

After completing the course the student shall be able to carry out an epistemological and didactical analysis of a piece of mathematical knowledge that is taught in school, and on the basis of this analysis be able to design and implement a didactical situation with respect to this knowledge. The student shall be able to characterize different forms of mathematical knowledge that a teacher should possess in order to teach the particular knowledge, and to account for different semiotic representations, and transformations between them, that are central within the mathematical knowledge at stake. Further, the student shall be able to validate a teaching sequence on the basis of a comparison of a priori and a posteriori analyses of a didactical situation. This course will, together with MA3060 and RFEL3100, give the relevant basis for writing a master thesis oriented towards mathematics education.

Learning methods and activities

The teaching is organized as seminars containing a blend of lectures, group work and discussions, as well as presentations of students’ work. The course requires a high degree of student participation. It is therefore necessary to be present in class to get sufficient learning outcome. The course will be given in autumn in years of odd numbers.

Compulsory assignments

  • Empirically based task
  • Presentation
  • 80 % participation

Further on evaluation

In the case that the student receives an F/Fail as a final grade after both ordinary and re-sit exam, then the student must retake the course in its entirety. Submitted work that counts towards the final grade will also have to be retaken. For more information about grading and evaluation, see «Teaching methods and activities».

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

A minimum of 60 ECTS in mathematics and completed at least 30 ECTS of Practical Teacher Training (PPU) is required to be admitted to the course.

Course materials

The literature is based on research articles from mathematics education and will be announced at the start of the course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SKOLE6213 1.0 01.08.2019
SKOLE6223 2.0 01.08.2019
SKOLE6233 2.0 01.08.2019
More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level



Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Didactics in Mathematics
  • Mathematics
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Mathematical Sciences



  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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