Searching for Better Mathematics Education
Malcolm Swan is Professor in Mathematics Education at the University of Nottingham and has been a leading designer-researcher since he joined the faculty in the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education in 1979. His interests lie in the design of teaching and assessment, particularly the design of situations which foster reflection, discussion and metacognitive activity, the design of situations in which learners are able to construct mathematical concepts, and the design of assessment methods that are balanced across learning goals – and thus have a positive backwash effect on teaching and learning. Diagnostic teaching, using ‘misconceptions’ to promote long term learning, has been an ongoing strand of this work.
He has led design teams on a sequence of internationally funded research and development projects including work for UK examination boards and the US NSF-funded Balanced Assessment project and the Mathematics Assessment Resource Service (MARS). He has designed courses and resources for the professional development of teachers, evaluating their impact on student learning and on the beliefs and practices of experienced teachers. These materials have been sent by the UK Government and the Bowland Trust to all schools and other relevant educational institutions. In 2008 he was awarded the ISDDE Prize for educational design for The Language of Functions and Graphs.