The theme of Norma 20 is Nordic mathematics education: what it takes or means to bring Nordic mathematics education into the future. 

The theme has two main strands, the Nordic mathematics education model and technologies. Neither of these topics are novel, the concept of a  Nordic model is not a new topic, it is also a concept that has been evolving (see for instance Imsen, Rossing & Bloos, 2016). Similarly, the introduction of technology in mathematics education was seen decades ago (see for instance, Björk & Brolin, 1984).

However, both topics are still as central to our research in mathematics education as in the past. 

Although the examples discussed below relates to compulsory level education (school), submissions are not restricted to primary or tertiary education. Proposals focusing on any educational level from kindergarten to higher education are most welcome.

The Nordic model

In research literature, education in the Nordic countries is often described within the framework of “the Nordic model”. Similar references are made to mathematics education. For instance, all Nordic countries have a national mathematics curriculum, mathematics is compulsory in primary and lower secondary school, boys and girls have the same curriculum, there are national teacher education programmes, and mathematics teaching is supposed to be student centered.

However, other aspects of mathematics education differ between the Nordic countries. For instance, while the large majority of Norwegian students attend public school, there are many private compulsory schools in Denmark and Sweden. In Finland, teacher education programmes are situated at the master level, and only  recently this has been introduced in Norway as well.

This is not the case in the other countries. Large differences in student achievement and attitudes in international large-scale studies such as PISA and TIMSS might be an outcome of these differences.  
Thus the overall question in regards to the mathematics education model or models in the Nordic countries is– if there is one model or several models. The answer to this question might also depend on what aspect of mathematics education we are scrutinizing.  

Presentations might focus on:

  • similarities or differences,contrasting and comparing two or more countries 
  • teacher education  
  • student achievement
  • teacher and instructional quality
  • policy – for instance curriculum
  • assessment 

Technology in mathematics education

Policy makers, educationalists and teachers all expect that today’s students will play an important role in the technological discoveries and developments of the future. Indeed some might even be involved in developing new technology. Consequently, technology and programming skills have become increasingly important core competencies for the 21st-century skills and included in education policies seeking to adapt the education sector to meet future societal demands.The Nordic countries for example, have recognized that digital competence, such as using digital tools and programming, needs to be inte

grated into school curricula to equip students with skills, such as problem solving and logical thinking, which are important in today’s digital society. Moreover, several European countries include programming in their curricula as a way of developing algorithmic thinking.

There is a clear tendency that programming is integrated in other subjects, particularly mathematics. The challenge for the educational sector, therefore, is to provide students  with the competencies needed to master and create their own digital technologies and to prepare them for the future; therefore, learning how to code and program in formal and non-formal education settings is vital. 

Presentations might focus on:

  • similarities or differences, contrasting and comparing two or more countries concerning programming or the use of digital tools in mathematics education
  • research into the relation between mathematics and programming
  • student achievement when using technologies like computers and tablets with different apps
  • the teacher and student roles in a technology-rich classroom 


Within both main topics, we equally welcome empirical and theoretical contributions. A presentation might focus on an in-depth analysis of particular aspects within the mathematics education, teaching and learning in a single country, two or more countries.  
The proposal should make clear its relation to the theme.   


Björk, L.-E., & Brolin, H. (1984) ARK-projektet – en översikt [The ARK project – an overview]. Nämnaren Tema: Miniräknaren. Stockholm: Liber Utbildningsförlaget.  Imsen, G., Blossing, U., & Moos, L. (2016). Reshaping the Nordic education model in an era of efficiency. Changes in the comprehensive school project in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden since the millennium. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research.

Published Sep. 17, 2019 8:26 AM - Last modified Mar. 17, 2020 10:59 AM