Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME)

Questions for reflection - professional learning for all teachers of mathematics

 

 

PDforteachersofmaths

It can be difficult for teachers and senior leaders to identify mathematics-specific knowledge needed to become a highly-effective teacher and the professional learning required to develop this knowledge.

Teachers, senior leaders, professional development providers and professional development commissioners may use the questions below as a way of framing conversations on mathematics-specific professional development.

 

PDtable

The questions below expand Table 1 on page 8 of the professional learning principles

 

The questions for reflection are separated into three different areas for further reflection:

I. Teachers' knowledge about mathematics.

II. Teachers' knowledge about teaching mathematics.

III. School and college culture and mathematics professional learning.

I. Teachers' knowledge about mathematics Do teachers continue to develop proficiency in the mathematics relevant to the phase they teach?

This includes:

  • developing conceptual understanding;
  • procedural and factual knowledge;
  • the ability to reason;
  • the ability to solve and pose problems.

See some examples. These are not exhaustive.

 

II. Teachers' knowledge about mathematics

 

Do teachers continue to develop specialist knowledge about mathematics required for teaching?

This specialist knowledge includes:

  • understanding connections between different areas;
  • understanding how mathematical ideas build on and lead to others;
  • the underlying structure of mathematics;
  • ways of modelling and representing mathematical ideas;
  • specific and consistent use of mathematical language and notation.

See some examples. These are not exhaustive.

 

III. Teachers' knowledge about mathematics

 

Do teachers continue to develop understanding and appreciation of mathematics as a discipline?

This includes:

  • the way mathematics is used within other subjects and different terminology that might be used;
  • the way mathematics is used beyond the classroom, for example in work;
  • the history of mathematics;
  • the role of mathematics in society.

See some examples. These are not exhaustive.

 

II. Teachers' knowledge about teaching mathematics

 

Do teachers continue to develop and evaluate their knowledge about the teaching of mathematics?

This includes:

  • knowing effective ways of explaining, representing and exemplifying mathematics;
  • knowing how to use particular resources, equipment and tools to support the learning of mathematics mathematical tasks and activities to use with learners;
  • knowing ways of encouraging mathematical discussion and use of mathematical language.

See some examples. These are not exhaustive.

 

II. Teachers' knowledge about teaching mathematics

 

Do teachers continue to develop and evaluate their knowledge about mathematical learning?

This includes:

  • planning mathematical journeys that build on learners' prior knowledge and experience, make connections and develop strong foundations for future study;
  • knowing how to motivate learners of mathematics;
  • knowing ways of listening to and observing learners carry out mathematics and understanding and responding flexibly to their learning needs;
  • knowledge of common difficulties learners can face and common errors and misconceptions that they make in mathematics and ways of responding to them;
  • knowing how to continually assess learners and to adapt questioning to support this and respond to answers given.

See some examples. These are not exhaustive.

 

II. Teachers' knowledge about teaching mathematics

 

Do teachers continue to develop and evaluate their knowledge about the mathematics curriculum that they are teaching and other phases of the curriculum?

This includes:

  • the structure and sequencing within the mathematics curriculum;
  • the formal assessment and qualifications linked to the curriculum;
  • how and when mathematics is used in other areas of the curriculum;
  • how the mathematics curriculum is developed and the influences on it.

See some examples. These are not exhaustive.

 

III. School and college culture and mathematics professional learning

 

  • Do teachers of mathematics have their mathematic-specific knowledge and professional learning requirements analysed?

 

  • Do all those teaching matheamatics have a personalised learning plan for mathematics?

 

  • Is the school or college working to help existing teacher groups become collaborative learning groups?

 

  • Is the school or college providing access to sustained and personalised professional learning?

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