The Techno-mathematical Literacies in the Workplace Project investigated the combinations of mathematical and technological skills that people need in workplaces. We looked at different industry sectors, in both manufacturing and services, focussing on employees at “intermediate” skill level, typically non-graduates with post-16 qualifications or work-based equivalent experience who may be working in manufacturing industry as skilled operators or supervisory managers, or in service industry (such as banking and insurance) as sales agents or customer enquiry agents.

The project combined ethnographic studies with design-based research. We used ethnographic techniques to identify the mathematical practices in use in companies using work-shadow observations and interviews.

We then co-designed learning opportunities with company trainers and managers - that is, sets of learning interventions that can support employees in developing the TmL that are useful in their work. We carried out design experiments in collaboration with companies and industry sector experts, which were characterised by design cycles of preparing, designing, testing and revision of our learning opportunities. These are intended to be flexible resources for mathematical learning that could eventually be incorporated within, or be presented alongside, workplace technical training materials. They include carefully sequenced activities along with tools for exploring particular mathematical concepts and processes.

Find out more about our research by sector:

Financial Services Packaging
Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Automotive Industry

Find out more about our research by theme:

Modelling manufacturing processes

Process improvement and Statistical Process Control

Modelling financial products

This project was funded October 2003 - June 2007 by the Economic and Social Research Council, award number L139-25-0119, as part of the United Kingdom Teaching and Learning Research Programme.


Website last updated: 5 July 2010