Masters in Primary School Maths Education
Teachers from Scitech’s professional learning mathematics programs recently took part in a series of alumni workshops dedicated to furthering their skills as leaders in maths education.
Primary School teachers from as far as Bunbury came together at Oakwood Primary School, located in Perth’s southern suburbs, with the aim of building on practices previously learned in the highly successful Alcoa Champions of Maths, delivered by Scitech in partnership with Alcoa between 2019-2021.
Scitech’s professional development maths programs challenge how mathematics is traditionally taught in the classroom through the use of the ground-breaking Powerful Problem-Solving approach. Skills learned enable teachers to guide students working in small groups to make sense of the maths before them; take risks, try different strategies, make connections across different topics and find solutions, leading to better student outcomes and results.
By continuing this international best-practice approach through the Maths Alumni Workshop series in 2022, teachers are able to strengthen connections with each other through their commonly shared knowledge.
Better Student Outcomes
Oakwood Primary School teacher Karl Schoeppner has participated in Scitech’s professional learning programs in the past two years and says the Maths Alumni Workshops are invaluable.
“What I have gained from Scitech’s maths programs has brought my maths to a new level. The skills, strategies and ways of looking at mathematics are not always what I imagined. By entering the alumni program, I keep learning about mathematics in a conceptual manner and the more I learn about ways students approach and process mathematical concepts, the better I will be to help my students to learn.” said Mr Schoeppner.
“The Alumni program is also a way for us to share our successes. One lesson I did was on finding the surface area of a rectangular prism. Different approaches were being used by the different student groups but no group had used the method I deemed to be most efficient – finding the area of three sides and doubling the total. After students shared all their ideas on how to solve the problem, I asked the class to think for a bit. “Can you find a more efficient method to solve this problem?” A student who had low self confidence in her mathematical ability raised her hand and explained to the class that it would be much easier to find the area of three sides then double that area. I realised how powerful this program was when I was watching less confident students take the lead and show their classmates.”
The Maths Alumni Workshop was the first of several that will be run across the year, aiming to ensure that the foundations of improved maths teaching practices from the past 10 years of the Alcoa Maths Enrichment Program can continue, and teachers are able to self-support their skills and learning through their established alumni network.