In order to achieve our three key objectives;
- Objective 1: Our primary objective was to address a pressing need for the development of new methodologies to better utilise the opportunities that ICT in teaching Math could bring.
- Objective 2: Our goal was to promote and facilitate transnational teacher development.
- Objective 3: Address the emerging disparity within rates of progress between Boys and Girls in Mathematics with a particular focus upon learner engagement.
we developed a model of ‘practitioner research’ which, through the design and delivery of standardised systems, enabled each triad to identify an ICT tool, a Math topic, a desired outcome, to design a method of application, to apply, review, refine and evaluate this application to then be followed by inter-triad peer review, synthesis and redesign. This highly academic approach gave the process clear structure, gave it rigour and enabled objectives 1 and 2 to be fully realised and for a refined objective 3 to be met. Our primary objective was to address a pressing need for the development of new methodologies to better utilise the opportunities that ICT in teaching Math could bring. We identified two areas, improve the results of learners using modern techniques (ICT tools) and developing equitable ICT tools which would enable blended learning adaptable to an individuals needs. To these ends we effectively identified tools, adapted these to meet our requirements, implemented and evaluated their usage and drew upon the broad professional experiences of the project group to offer feedback before the tools application was refined and applied again in a differing context. This enabled us to trial a range of ICT tools including Socrative, Zaption, Geogebra and to collectively identify which tools were the best for different purposes; real-time feedback, increasing engagement, hosting flipped-learning. This was highly successful with all participants engaging with a variety of programmes, becoming adept in their use, increasing confidence and as part of this process enhancing their self perception as effective educators of Mathematics. We were able to meet this objective by producing ‘Recipe Cards’, a step by step application of a named IT tool for a particular purpose linked to Math education. These cards not only represent an effective engagement with the research process but also act as a means for further dissemination of the groups collective work to a wide audience.
We also sought to promote and facilitate transnational teacher development through shared experiences and collaborative research engagement facilitated through the applied design, delivery, evaluation and dissemination process. Through highly structured meetings hosted within each country we were able to offer opportunities to collaborate, communicate and understand the similarities and differences across these Math cultures. We successfully achieved this through the design of the project with participants, indicated through an ‘exit’ questionnaire, favourably commenting upon these interactions and what they gained from them. Interesting to note is that participants felt that this process not only benefited them as educators but as people enhancing a range of ‘soft’ skills.
We initially identified that a third key objective was to address the emerging disparity within rates of progress between Boys and Girls in Mathematics. We had an expectation that an application of ICT tools to traditional Math teaching may impact upon male attainment within mathematics, in particular basic Math skills. Through discussion and following an engagement with the literature we agreed as a group that an area we sought to address was engagement and motivation within Math learning both in and out of the classroom as a causal factor effecting male achievement. A review of the literature linked to male underachievement indicated that female maturation often led to increased in-class confidence thus resulting in female learners engaging more regularly in public displays of learning e.g more often to answer Math questions when asked to do so. This seems in many cases to result in boys being less likely to offer an answer thus impacting on their ‘visible’ progress within Math. Additionally research on adolescent brain development highlights the need for teenagers to prioritise the development of their social self before their academic self, this manifests itself visibly as a decreased engagement in subjects felt to be not ‘necessary’ ‘authentic’ ‘valuable’ or ‘interesting’. This is more prevalent amongst male learners and learners of Math. As such throughout the project we sought to explicitly address the engagement factor and how we could use ICT tools to facilitate more meaningful questioning, to offer real-time feedback and to enable progress at a learners personal pace but to also enthuse and engage learners with a mode of learning that they found real, authentic and meaningful. This important focus of our work was evident within each of the proposals and enquiry questions developed by each triad through the project (8 in total). An assessment of the benefits of ICT enhanced mathematical pedagogies features within both the interim and final reports, with the final reports available through this website http://www.projecttemp.org