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Teacher training offered in ABCmaths

Consequently, the project aims at making accessible existing and innovative solutions linked to using big ideas, providing in-service mathematics teachers with learning opportunities on different levels of content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. Taking into account the inhibiting factors, the innovations brought by this project will consist of:

  1. an interactive online classroom approach for content-related learning and strengthening pedagogical content knowledge;
  2. ideas and examples of different forms of individual coaching of the teachers;
  3. online and paper-based materials that highlight the potential of big ideas for mathematics instruction.

In the training modules of ABCmaths, face-to-face and blended learning phases are integrated in line with what is known about best practice in in-service teacher training. The involvement of the schools in supporting teachers’ participation on the in-service courses will be considered essential for the potential success of the courses. A further essential feature of the project will be to support and monitor the effects of the training in the teachers’ classrooms. This will be carried out in different ways in the three sites of the project to provide a range of means of support and monitoring.

A focus on big ideas on three levels

The product of the project will be an online forum which follows the basic content structure of the ABCmaths teacher training modules. The online resources accessible in this forum will focus on:

  1. content knowledge for teachers linked to big ideas and organised according to these big ideas;
  2. pedagogical content knowledge for creating rich learning environments in terms of structuring and making mathematics more transparent for students; and
  3. concrete examples of classroom interactions, in which big ideas play a role for learning processes. For these instructional situations, we have the vision that videotaped instructional situations enriched with accompanying material will be linked to big ideas and support reflections of teachers about classroom practice.

An online forum for supporting teacher training

The ABCmaths online forum will be built on the expertise and professional development of teachers cooperating in the training modules. It will be designed as a support for both in-service teacher training activities and bottom-up initiatives of active teacher teams who are working to improve their teaching by making use of pedagogical content knowledge linked to big ideas.

The sustainable dissemination of the project outcomes will be aimed at both those schools already working in close partnership with project teams, and at a wider-spread community of teacher teams in the partner countries and beyond.

Research linked to ABCmaths – in search of answers in a field requiring empirical evidence

A further key element of the project will be the evaluation of the in-service training. This evaluation will focus on:

  1. teaching during the training modules,
  2. teachers’ perceptions of the course through pre- and post-course questionnaires and interviews, and
  3. the effects in schools, in so far as this may be possible.

Following the competency approach of the Lisbon initiative, enhancing the learning outcomes of the students will be a major focus. The results of the accompanying evaluation research will contribute to knowledge about characteristics of effective teacher training on a European level.