Department of Education

Professor Núria Planas

Professor of Mathematics Education

College Affiliation: Linacre College

Núria is a Professor of Mathematics Education at Autonomous University of Barcelona. Her research is about language and mathematics in secondary school classrooms and professional development contexts with mathematics teachers.

Her first degree was in Mathematics at University of Barcelona (1995). Soon after her initiation as a secondary school mathematics teacher in highly multilingual classrooms of Barcelona, she started her PhD at the UAB Division of Mathematics Education. She wanted to understand the critical factors behind the under-performance in school mathematics of many learners from poor urban backgrounds and recent histories of migration. Since then, she has been committed to classroom and teacher education research grounded on community work with schools and mathematics teachers in urban areas of poverty. Her years as a school teacher have provided her with greater insights into her work as a researcher and have strongly influenced the adoption of sociocultural and sociopolitical approaches to mathematics teaching and learning.

Núria was given the ICREA Academia Award of the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies in 2013, in recognition of her contributions to research on multilingual mathematics teaching and learning. She was elected to the Executive Committee of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction as Member-at-Large in 2021, and to the International Committee of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education from 2010 to 2014. She served as Extraordinarious Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of South Africa from 2013 to 2020. She was Visiting Scholar at London South Bank University, University of Arizona, and University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill.

Núria is currently on the editorial board of the international journal Mathematics Education Research Journal and Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education. Till 2021 she was the editor-in-chief of the Advances of Research in Mathematics Education, the official journal of the Spanish Society of Research in Mathematics Education. She is the leading co-editor of a 2018 special issue on language research in mathematics education published in ZDM-Mathematics Education, and the leading co-editor of a special issue on decentring mathematics teaching education, to be published in the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, February 2024.

She chaired the 7th Topic Conference of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education on Language and Mathematics (Dresden, 2018), and the ERME Topic Working Group on Language and Mathematics from 2015 to 2020. The collaborations established in the ERME context enabled for a broad range of experts to come together and move forward the research field in the form of an co-edited Routledge volume entitled ‘Classroom research on mathematics and language: Seeing learners and teachers differently’ in 2021, with Núria as the leading co-editor. She has also been co-editor of the Springer volume resulting from the 21st ICMI Study on Language Diversity and Mathematics Education in 2016, and of the Brill volume entitled ‘Mathematical discourse that breaks barriers and creates space for marginalized learners’ in 2018.

Núria’s motivation for coming to the Oxford Department of Education is her research collaboration in projects co-coordinated with Jenni Ingram on establishing an international network for research on supporting school mathematics teaching with linguistically disadvantaged learners. From her years as a secondary school in the 1990s, important challenges posed to mathematics education practice remain. Learners of mathematics who are linguistically disadvantaged for a variety of reasons, including impoverished socioeconomic status, continue to be educationally disadvantaged at a considerable risk of school failure and early dropout. More research will hopefully shed light on how to identify and develop improved practices to enable greater access to school mathematics for all learners.


[For more publications and research details, see]
– Planas, N., & Chronaki, A. (2021). Multilingual mathematics learning from a dialogic-translanguaging perspective. In N. Planas, C. Morgan, & M. Schütte (Eds.), Classroom research on mathematics and language: Seeing learners and teachers differently (pp. 151-166). Routledge.
– Planas, N. (2021). How specific can language as resource become for the teaching of algebraic concepts? ZDM-Mathematics Education, 53(2), 277-288.
– Planas, N. (2021). Challenges and opportunities from translingual research on multilingual mathematics classrooms. In A. A. Essien, & A. Msimanga (Eds.), Multilingual education yearbook 2021. Policy and practice in STEM multilingual contexts (pp. 1-18). Springer.
– Planas, N., & Ngoepe, M. (2019). Right to learn mathematics: From language as right to language as resource. In C. Xenofontos (Ed.), Equity in mathematics education. Addressing a changing world (pp. 93-110). Information Age Publishing.
– Planas, N., & Schütte, M. (2018). Research frameworks for the study of language in mathematics education, ZDM-Mathematics Education, 50(6), 965-974.
– Planas, N. (2018). Language as resource: A key notion for understanding the complexity of mathematics learning. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 98(3), 215-229.
– Planas, N., Morgan, C., & Schütte, M. (2018). Mathematics education and language. Lessons and directions from two decades of research. In T. Dreyfus, M. Artigue, S. Prediger, D. Potari, & Ruthven (Eds.), Developing research in mathematics education. Twenty years of communication, cooperation and collaboration in Europe (pp. 196-210). Routledge.
– Planas, N. (2014). One speaker, two languages: Learning opportunities in the mathematics classroom. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 87(1), 51-66.
– Planas, N., & Setati Phakeng, M. (2014). On the process of gaining language as a resource in mathematics education. ZDM-Mathematics Education, 46(6), 883-893.
– Planas, N., & Civil, M. (2013). Language-as-resource and language-as-political. Tensions in the bilingual mathematics classroom. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 25(3), 361-378.


Follow Us