Special Issue: Mathematical Thinking and Understanding in Learning of Mathematics (2022)

Call for Papers: Mathematical thinking and understanding in learning of mathematics

LUMAT invites researchers, practitioners and educators to contribute to the upcoming special issue on Mathematical thinking and understanding in learning of mathematics.


The concept of mathematical thinking is traditional and has been interpreted over decades or even centuries according to the prevailing notions of each era. Mathematical thinking and especially its development can still be seen in the latest curricula at all levels of education. When, we have focus on the learning process the concept mathematical thinking can be approached from several different directions: mathematical concepts, how express mathematical thinking, developing mathematical thinking by manipulatives (concrete or digital), developing mathematical thinking at different ages and many other points of view. The development of mathematical skills is cumulative and for this reason a great deal of attention should be paid to the development of mathematical skills and mathematical thinking from an early age. Playful, concrete, and problem-oriented inspiring learning environments where children are allowed to play with numbers and build their own mathematical thinking will help children deepen their mathematical skills and thinking. Playful and joyful math learning, and concreteness support a positive view of mathematics from an early age. Also, this kind of approach supports the learning of mathematics in primary education and in later school years. We can of course combine two or more different views together in our surveys.

Correspondingly, the factors influencing the learning of mathematics have diversified based on the results of modern research areas. The importance of learners' affectations has been seen as a central part of learning mathematics and thus also as a factor influencing mathematical thinking. The development of information technology has significantly shaped learning environments and teaching at all levels of the education system. Technological competence has become a key factor in the development of mathematical competence and thinking especially on upper-secondary and university levels. How much a student needs understanding how equations could be solved or how to simplify expressions by a paper and a pencil?

The main goal of this Special Issue is to collect papers and the latest studies on mathematical thinking and the role of understanding in mathematics learning from the interesting points of view. The range of age in the researches could be from kindergarten to university level.

Deadlines and special issue time table:

  • Submission Deadline (full paper): August 31, 2021 
  • Feedback from Editors: September 30, 2021
  • Submission of modified articles: October 31, 2021
  • Feedback from the 1st round of peer-review: December 20, 2021
  • Submission of modified papers after peer-review: January 31, 2022
  • Final Decision on the manuscript: February 28, 2022
  • Publication of the issue: March 2022

We welcome both empirical as well as theoretical manuscripts in English. 

Acceptance criteria for the manuscripts are that they:

  • Are research-based and have not been previously published.
  • Contain the following subsections: 
    • Context/relevance of the study: Why the research was conducted.
    • Aim/research questions: What guided the research.
    • Theoretical framework/conceptual rationale/pragmatic grounding: How the current research is connected to the earlier studies.
    • Research methods and research design: How the research was conducted (both empirical and theoretical manuscripts are welcome).
    • Results (in theoretical manuscripts, the discussion on how the manuscript contributes to the earlier research can be combined with the discussion section and Result section might be omitted.
    • Discussion/Conclusions/Implications: How the research questions were answered, how the research results contribute to the field.
    • References in APA-style: Use the template on the journal website. 
  • Follow the academic research guidelines for ethical and professional academic publishing, such as: publishing original work, accurate and detailed findings and methodology, including those writers as authors that have contributed to the work significantly; including all the permissions to publish previously published content from the copyright holders; adhering to (personal) data protection legislation (confidential information, identifying individuals, etc.)
  • Are clearly written - English clarity and correct grammar are expected. If necessary, the authors are asked to proofread and copy edit the manuscripts prior to the submission.

General paper submission guidelines can be found here.

Guest editors

Dr. Jorma Joutsenlahti, Adjunct Professor, University Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Culture, Tampere University, Finland, jorma.joutsenlahti@tuni.fi

Dr. Päivi Perkkilä,  University Lecturer, Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, paivi.perkkila@chydenius.fi