IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Teachers’ Mathematical Digital Competencies (TeachMDC)

A research to evaluate competencies that mathematics teachers need to develop to integrate Digital Technologies (DT) into their teaching.

This project is funded by the Centre for Teachers and Teaching Research. It started in November 2021 and will end in July 2022.


Benefits and challenges

Previous research has detailed the benefits and challenges of integrating DT into mathematics teaching (e.g. Clark-Wilson & Hoyles, 2017).

The benefits of technology-enhanced mathematics instruction are that it can contribute significantly to pupils’ achievements (Young, 2017) and better prepare them with the mathematical knowledge and skills needed in their future careers (Hoyles, et al., 2010). 

However, a key challenge is that relatively little is known about the competencies that mathematics teachers need to develop to integrate DT into their teaching. This issue has acquired particular urgency during the Coronavirus pandemic as DT were employed to teach mathematics remotely during school closures, with little preparation, but also as teachers showcased greater willingness to engage with DT. 

Moreover, whilst the recent DfE’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy (TRRS) and the Early Career Framework (ECF) provide practical guidance on the skills that teachers and early career teachers should be supported to develop, there is no explicit mention of the use of technology.

In conceptualising teacher competence or in other words the set of skills they employ to teach, we intend to build on our own past research. Geraniou and Jankvist (2019) conceptualised the interplay between mathematical competencies and digital competencies and introduced Mathematical Digital Competency (MDC) in recognition of the need for learners to develop competence in using technology to solve mathematical problems. 

We intend to adapt this conceptualisation for teachers.


  • Clark-Wilson, A., & Hoyles, C. (2017). Dynamic Digital Technologies for Dynamic Mathematics. UCL IOE Press: London.
  • Geraniou, E., & Jankvist, U. T. (2019). Towards a definition of "mathematical digital competency". Educational Studies in Mathematics, 102, 29-45.
  • Hoyles, C., Noss, R., Kent, P., & Bakker, A., (2010). Improving Mathematics at Work: The Need for Techno-Mathematical Literacies. Routledge: London and New York.
  • Young, J. (2017). Technology-enhanced mathematics instruction: A second-order meta-analysis of 30 years of research. Educational Research Review, 22, 19-33. 


We will carry out a literature review to develop the theoretical conceptualisation of teachers’ MDCs.

Survey tool 

Based on this, we will design items for the self-assessment survey tool, which we plan to pilot initially with mathematics teacher educators at UCL. 

We will then trial this self-assessment survey tool with mathematics student teachers participating in UCL IOE ITE programmes.


We will evaluate the self-assessment survey tool by employing a mixed-methods approach. Data from the survey tool will be analysed initially employing descriptive statistics. 

Factor analysis will be used to create and identify groups of teachers with similar competencies in teaching mathematics using DT.


Based on the survey responses, we will invite a few teachers to participate in qualitative interviews, to gain insight into their survey responses and how the tool supported their reflection on practice and critical research engagement.

Research questions
  1. How do we conceptualise teachers’ MDCs based on existing research literature and policy documents?
  2. How does a self-assessment survey tool capture teachers’ MDCs and support their research-informed reflection on their use of digital technologies in teaching mathematics?