You are here

The Mathematics Teacher in the Digital Era

Alison Clark-Wilson, Ornella Robutti, and Nathalie Sinclair (eds.)
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
Mathematics Education in the Digital Era
[Reviewed by
Annie Selden
, on
This volume is just one in the Springer series, Mathematics in the Digital Era, of which 22 have been published since 2012. This particular volume, published in 2022, is said to be the second edition of an earlier volume with a similar title, but different subtitle (The Mathematics Teacher in the Digital Era: An International Perspective on Technology Focused on Professional Development) published in 2013. However, this is not a revised version of the earlier volume, but rather an entirely new one, for which the editors have invited the authors of the earlier volume to submit new research, as well as some new authors.  
There are 15 unnumbered chapters, which makes it hard to refer to them individually without naming the authors. I wonder whether (and how) this volume’s authors cross-referenced each other—I tried to check, by consulting the reference list at the end of each chapter, but it does not seem the authors referenced each other in this volume, although they sometimes referenced earlier work by some other chapter authors. Thus, this volume seems more like a special issue of a journal. The chapter authors come from 12 different countries: France, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Honk Kong, England, Argentina, Iceland, and Columbia. Interestingly, no authors come from the United States, although the Editorial Board for the Series has two members from the USA.  
This particular volume is not really for those beginning to teach with technology, although the series is claimed to be for diverse readers, including mathematics education researchers, mathematicians, cognitive scientists, and computer scientists. However, it is clearly of interest to mathematics education researchers who are interested in the professional development (PD) of mathematics teachers at various levels, as most of the chapters describe studies, often case studies, of particular PD projects with participants ranging from kindergarten teachers to university instructors, with the first chapter devoted to the description of a project aimed at facilitators of such PD projects (who need their own PD).
For example, the chapter (that begins on page 211) has a case study of Mia, a French kindergarten teacher, who was followed for three years as she interacted with and designed (or extended) and implemented software to help 4-year-old pupils with enumeration strategies. As she did so, she reflected on her professional growth, and the researchers observed her evolution in understanding of how best to implement the software. For example, Mia observed that verbalization between pairs, when working on the software, was important to promote learning, just as has been noted more generally when students work with software. She also found it important not to give too much direction, but rather to give the 4-year-olds some autonomy when working with the software. The chapter documents Mia’s professional growth in great detail, perhaps too much for the non-researcher in this area (such as me). But I did learn (in passing) that in France, kindergarten is considered part of primary school with its own curriculum, something I had not known before.
One difficulty, especially for a non-researcher, who is skimming these chapters to get an idea of their content, is the abundance of acronyms (e.g., IWB, CG, MARENE, DAD, SRRS), most but not all of which are defined just once in a given chapter. The index at the back is sparse and does not help with this.


Annie Selden is Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at New Mexico State University and Professor Emerita of Mathematics from Tennessee Technological University. In 2002, she was recipient of the Association for Women in Mathematics 12th Annual Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education. In 2003, she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She remains active in mathematics education research.