Professional Development

Why is professional development needed?

The Classroom Challenges will take many teachers of mathematics outside their “comfort zone” – the range of classroom strategies and tactics that they are accustomed to use day by day. Faced with these rich tasks, teachers ask questions like:

How can I respond to students in ways that will improve their learning?

How can we ask questions that improve thinking and reasoning?

How can I help students develop a deeper understanding of Mathematics?

Do I stand back and watch, or intervene and tell them what to do?

How can we ask questions that improve thinking and reasoning?

How can students learn from discussing mathematics?

The professional development modules complement the Classroom Challenges by providing structured, collaborative activities for teachers to help them understand the main pedagogical challenges raised by formative assessment of students working on non-routine problems.

How is the professional development presented and organized?

Our approach to professional development is “activity-based”, building teachers professional expertise through guided structured discussion of key issues. It stays close to the classroom – each module involves collective preparation of a lesson, which the participants then teach in their own classrooms, returning for structured reflection on what happened and its implications.

The professional development modules provide handouts and guidance notes for teachers and session leaders, supplied in PDF form for printing or on-screen use. They make use of video, showing real teachers trying new material with their classes and discussing the issues with colleagues. The modules are primarily designed for use by teachers working in groups with a professional development leader.