The mascil project has developed two toolkits. These are for use with (i) groups of teachers and (ii) those on courses leading to becoming a teacher: the toolkits for Teacher PD and Pre-service teachers. These are available in English as international and UK versions and the home languages of the partner nations.
The toolkits aim to support the delivery or facilitation of professional development for teachers of mathematics and science with teachers working in collaborative communities of inquiry. It is expected that groups will meet over time on a number of occasions and have opportunities to try things out in classrooms between meetings. The toolkits have been designed to support these groups by providing a flexible resource. This will allow members of the group to explore new and innovative teaching practices. The toolkits can be used in totally flexible ways that allow groups to work on aspects of teaching that they have prioritised. Alternatively the toolkits can be used to provide a carefully planned training course.
Our intention has been to meet the findings of an overview of research (Joubert et al (2009)) that found that professional development that supports the effective learning of mathematics teachers needs to be sustained over substantial periods of time. This identified that one successful approach that addresses this issue involves the development of collaborative communities of practice within mathematics departments. Such communities are often kick-started and sustained by outside expertise and pay attention to the development of the mathematics itself and particularly student learning. The flexibility that the toolkits offer in their use is designed to meet the needs of teacher groups that inquire into what works in their particular context.
The pre-service toolkit aims to address the requirements of tutors on pre-service courses that lead to teaching status. We have found great variation in the form and length of these across the partnership nations and again the flexible design should assist in supporting this variety of courses.
Joubert, M. & Sutherland, R. (2009). A Perspective on the Literature: CPD for teachers of mathematics. Sheffield: NCETM. Retrieved March 2015.