Math Ed Seminar Series @ Brock: Dr. Joyce Mgombelo

Math Ed Seminar Series @ Brock

Season 2017- 2018

Collective Learning: Re-thinking the Environment, Artifacts and
Classroom Interactions

March 19 @ 10:00 in TA403

Dr. Joyce Mgombelo
Faculty of Education, Brock University

Dr. Joyce Mgombelo is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at Brock University. Her
research program focuses on: mathematics cognition; identity; and ethics- based on principles of
human cognition. This work is developed from the theoretical perspectives of enactivism, complexity
science and psychoanalysis. Mgombelo’s most recent work includes the SSHRC funded collaborative
research projects, “Educating for the 21st Century: post-secondary students learning ‘progmatics’
(computer programming for mathematical investigation, simulation, and real-world modeling)” and
“Advancing research methodology in mathematics education for collective learning systems” as well
as the Canada Global Affairs collaborative development project, “Capacity Development for
mathematics teaching in rural and remote communities in Tanzania”

Abstract: Over the past two decades, a group of Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group
(CMESG) members have been working on understanding the ways in which mathematics learning
occurs in classrooms viewed as collective systems. That is, how mathematics classrooms can be seen
as complex systems in which agents spontaneously interact and adapt to each other, organizing and
sustaining learning processes in a collaborative way. In this presentation I will offer a discussion about
how artifacts such as classroom boards play a vital role in the coordination of behaviours or actions in
a mathematics classroom viewed as a complex system. The source of inspiration for this discussion
comes from studies in cognitive stigmergy which have led to a better understanding of how (human)
agents in a complex system communicate indirectly through their environment which is articulated,
and is typically composed of artifacts, which build up the social workspace, or field of work.

All undergraduate(including teacher candidates) students, graduate students , and faculty, from Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Faculty of Education are welcome!


For information, contact: Chantal Buteau: or Joyce Mgombelo: