Croatian Mathematics Teachers and Remote Education During Covid-19: What did They Learn?

  • Ljerka Jukić Matić Department of Mathematics, University of Osijek, Croatia
Keywords: mathematics teacher, remote education, teaching, virtual classroom


The study reported in this paper aims to show how Croatian lower-secondary mathematics teachers coped with remote education during the lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The research design refers to the case study of six teachers. On five occasions, the teachers were interviewed about the organisation of their virtual classrooms, forms of assessment, and utilisation of (digital) teaching resources from the beginning of March until the end of June 2020. The study results showed that social parameters were prominent factors in the decision-making of many teachers regarding teaching remotely. For example, the teachers always put students’ needs first: they were accessible almost all day to their students, they tried not to overload students and provided daily feedback on their work. In addition, the teachers in the study raised the issue of academic dishonesty in remote education – the digital environment made cheating easier and meant that the usual assessment formats became unfeasible. Although the findings provide insight into the work of teachers during a pandemic, a larger sample would provide generalisations about the changes in workload that mathematics teachers experienced during remote education.


Download data is not yet available.


Aldon, G., Cusi, A., Schacht, F., & Swidan, O. (2021). Teaching mathematics in a context of lockdown: A study focused on teachers’ praxeologies. Education Sciences, 11(2), 38. 10.3390/educsci11020038

Brown, M. W. (2009). The teacher-tool relationship: Theorizing the design and use of curriculum materials. In J. T. Remillard, B. A. Herbel-Eisenmann, & G. M. Lloyd (Eds.), Mathematics teachers at work: Connecting curriculum materials and classroom instruction (pp. 17–36). Routledge.

Collie, R. J. (2021). COVID-19 and teachers’ somatic burden, stress, and emotional exhaustion: Examining the role of principal leadership and workplace buoyancy. AERA Open.

Divjak, B., & Pažur Aničić, K. (2019). Priprema, praćenje i evaluacija eksperimentalnog programa Cjelovite kurikularne reforme [Preparing, monitoring and evaluation of the experimental program of the curriculum reform]. Ministry of Science and Education.

Engeström, Y. (1998). Reorganizing the motivational sphere of classroom culture: an activity-theoretical analysis of planning in teacher team. In F. Seeger, J. Voigt, & U. Waschescio (Eds.), The culture of the mathematics classroom (pp. 76–103). Cambridge University Press.

Fan, L. (2013). Textbook research as scientific research: towards a common ground on issues and methods of research on mathematics textbooks. ZDM- Mathematics Education, 45(5), 765–777.

Glasnović Gracin, D., & Jukić Matić, L. (2016) The role of mathematics textbooks in lower secondary education in Croatia: An empirical study. The Mathematics Educator, 16(2), 31–58.

Hargreaves, A. (2000). The four ages of professionalism and professional learning. Teacher and Teaching, 23(2), 151–182.

Jacobs, V. R., Lamb, L. L. C., & Philipp, R. A. (2010). Professional noticing of children’s mathematical thinking. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 41(2), 169–202.

Jay, T., Rose, J., & Simmons, B. (2018). Why is parental involvement in children’s mathematics learning hard? Parental perspectives on their role supporting children’s learning. SAGE Open.

Jelińska, M., & Paradowski, M. B. (2021). Teachers’ perception of student coping with emergency remote instruction during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The relative impact of educator demographics and professional adaptation and adjustment. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article 648443.

Jukić Matić, Lj. (2019). The teacher as a lesson designer. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 9(2), 136–160.

Kalogeropoulos, P., Roche, A., Russo, J., Vats, S., & Russo, T. (2021). Learning mathematics from home during COVID-19: Insights from two inquiry-focussed primary schools. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 17(5), 1957.

McClain, K., & Cobb, P. (2001). An analysis of development of socio-mathematical norms in one first-grade classroom. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 32(3), 236–266.

MZO [Ministry of Science and Education]. (April 2020). Guidelines for primary and secondary schools regarding the organization of distance learning with the help of information and communication technology.

MZO [Ministry of Science and Education]. (March 2020). Remote education, schedule.

NCTM [National Council of Teachers of Mathematics]. (2014). Principles to actions: Ensuring mathematical success for all. NCTM.

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). Parent involvement in homework: A research synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 78, 1039–1101.

Pepin, B., Gueudet, G., & Trouche, L. (2013). Re-sourcing teachers’ work and interactions: A collective perspective on resources, their use and transformation. ZDM–Mathematics Education, 45(5), 929–943.

Retallick, J., & Butt, R. (2004). Professional well-being and learning: A study of teacher-peer workplace relationships. Journal of Educational Enquiry, 5(1), 85–99.

Rezat, S., & Sträßer, R. (2012). From the didactical triangle to the socio-didactical tetrahedron: Artifacts as fundamental constituents of the didactical situation. ZDM- Mathematics Education, 44(5), 641–651.

Ristić Dedić, Z., Jokić, B., Matić, J. Košutić, I., & Šabić, J. (2017). Kakve su navike učenja, obrasci pisanja (prepisivanja) domaćih zadaća i percepcija meritokracije? Populacijska perspektiva: Krapinsko-zagorska, Međimurska, Varaždinska i Zagrebačka županija [What are the learning habits, patterns of writing (copying) homework and perceptions of meritocracy? Population perspective: Krapina-Zagorje, Međimurje, Varaždin and Zagreb counties.] Institute for Social Research in Zagreb.

Salmons, J. (2015). Qualitative online interviews, strategies, design, and skills. Sage.

Swan, M. (2001). Dealing with misconceptions in mathematics. In P. Gates (Ed.), Issues in mathematics teaching (pp. 147–165). Routledge.

Timperley, H., Wilson, A., Barrar, H. & Fung, I. (2007). Teacher professional learning and development: best evidence synthesis iteration. Ministry of Education.

Vygotsky, L. (1997). The instrumental method in psychology. In R. W. Rieber & J. Wollock (Eds.), The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky. Volume 3. Problems of the theory and history of psychology (pp. 85–89). Plenum Press.

Wartofsky, M. W. (1979). Models—representation and the scientific understanding. Reidel.

Wood T. (1994). Patterns of interaction and the culture of mathematics classrooms. In S. Lerman (Ed.), Cultural perspectives on the mathematics classroom. (pp. 149–168). Springer.

Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods. Sage.