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IMA International Conference on Barriers and Enablers to Learning Maths: Enhancing Learning and Teaching for All Learners

Date: Summer 2015
Location: Glasgow TBC

Due to circumstances which could not have been foreseen, it has been necessary to reschedule this conference to Summer 2015. The reason for this change relates to the CETL-MSOR conference which has also been organised  for September 2014. Clearly, there will be many delegates who would wish to attend both events and so rescheduling the IMA event will now give them the opportunity to do so. We would like to express our sincere thanks to authors who have submitted abstracts, or plan to do so, and hope that the change of date has not caused inconvenience.

First Call for Papers

This is the first international conference of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) about approaches to teaching and learning mathematics. Mathematics should be understood in the widest possible sense to cover all aspects of mathematics, including number, pure mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and the full range of applications of mathematics.

The conference examines learning and teaching throughout the life span, from the most basic to the most advanced topics and for the full range of learners, including people with dyscalculia and other maths learning difficulties, gifted learners and mathematicians. This should lead to cross-fertilisation between different areas of learning and teaching. The conference is also highly interdisciplinary. In addition to mathematicians, it should be of interest amongst others to psychologists, teachers, pedagogical and educational experts, engineers, scientists and social scientists.

The conference is organised into the following four tracks, with the list of topics under each track illustrative rather than exclusive.

Motivation and maths anxiety:
• Approaches to increasing motivation and self confidence
• Overcoming maths anxiety
• Why learn maths: relevance, context and applications
• The use of social networking to provide mutual support and increase engagement
• Using the media to promote mathematics and improve its image
• The learner’s and the teacher’s perspective

Inclusive practice and learners’ particular requirements
• Learners with specific learning difficulties
• Ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity and the learning and teaching requirements
• Gender issues and gender sensitive learning and teaching
• Mature learners and returning to maths in later life
• Blind learners and non-visual representation of mathematics
• Gifted learners
• Maths learning for specialists and non-specialists

Effective practice: what does and does not work
• International comparisons
• Case studies
• Content and curricula
• Assessment, teaching and learning approaches
• Training and resources for teachers
• Less traditional approaches, such as project based learning, peer supported learning, microlearning and mobile learning

The use of technology:
• The use of ICT, new technologies and tools
• On-line learning, blended learning and traditional classrooms
• Mobile learning apps
• High tech and traditional approaches

Submission of papers and proposals for special thematic sessions is invited to the above tracks.

Papers should fit into one of the above tracks and should cover a theme related to this track, though not necessarily one of those listed above.

Proposals for special thematic sessions should include the following:
• One-page session description
• Brief bio(s) of the session chair(s)
• Abstracts of six papers.

Instructions for Authors

Authors should submit extended abstracts (2-4 pages) which include the following:
• Author name, affiliation and email address
• Introduction and brief literature survey
• Description of the problem or issue
• Methodology (if appropriate) and results
• Conclusions, including the contribution to the field and further work.
• A statement of the state of the work e.g. whether part of ongoing work, all results are already available or results are expected to be available by the time of camera-ready submission.

At this stage full formatting is not required. Abstracts should be single column A4 paper, Arial pt 11 text with 2-3 cm margins. WORD, text and PDF files are accepted.

Authors should indicate their preferred mode of presentation, but decisions will be taken by the conference organisers.

Abstracts can be submitted to Lizzi Lake:

In addition proposals are invited for working sessions to develop working groups on recommendations on particular topics related to the conference theme. Working session proposals should include the following:
• A two-page description of the proposed topic with an explanation of its importance
• Brief bio(s) of the session chair(s).

Conference Chair: Dr Marion Hersh, University of Glasgow
Conference Co-Chair: Dr Meena Kotecha, LSE


Scientific enquiries, including the relevance of a proposed topic to the conference, should be sent to:
Marion Hersh:
Meena Kotecha:

For further information or to register your interest, please contact Lizzi Lake, Conference Officer, E-mail:, Tel: +44 (0) 1702 354 020, Fax: +44 (0) 1702 354 111, Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, Catherine Richards House, 16 Nelson Street, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 1EF, UK.