This paper arises from research into an ongoing School Improvement Project, focused on Mathematics Education in Primary Schools in the UK (the Mathematics Specialist Teacher (MaST) project). The programme requires participants, all practising primary school teachers, to undertake professional and academic development activities in mathematics subject knowledge, pedagogy and principles of working with others, in order that they can subsequently can become “champions of mathematics” in their schools and beyond. The first cohort of students on the programme began their studies in January 2010, and will complete in 2012. Their first assessed task includes a requirement to present “A critical analysis of the impact of teaching approaches, underlying pedagogy and progression in the context of an aspect of mathematics on an identified group of children” For many of the teachers involved, this meant them undertaking a small scale piece of action research into their own practice, reflecting on and reviewing appropriate pedagogies, and further exploring their own conceptual understanding. The research project is being conducted by tutors and research staff at the university, evaluating the impact of this programme on participants, their classrooms and their schools. Initial findings indicate that the majority of teachers on the programme have changed their own classroom practice, moving away from more formal “traditional” approaches, to those utilising guided reasoning, creativity, models and images and other strategies which encourage deeper understanding of the concepts involved. Despite a government view that teaching facts and algorithms in mathematics is effective in securing high levels of pupil achievement, our study suggests that teaching for understanding may be a more reliable strategy in this respect.
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2011|
|Event||CARN annual conference - Vienna, Austria|
Duration: 4 Nov 2011 → 6 Nov 2011
|Conference||CARN annual conference|
|Period||4/11/11 → 6/11/11|