Reading articles and papers from research and subject association journals can provide very useful stimulation and ideas to try out in the classroom.
In its final report, the Researching Effective CPD in Mathematics Education (RECME) project states:
‘Using research seems to offer teachers effective means to become aware of different perspectives about teaching and learning, to engage in deep thinking, to gain confidence about their own thinking, to entrust to try ideas out in the classroom, to give status and credibility to the CPD initiative itself and to the teacher’.
[Chapter 7, Roles of research in CPD – Conclusions, p102]
There are many comments from teachers in the report which show how useful this activity is as part of a CPD intitiative:
“One recent example: the National Strategies made very explicit some of their source materials. I like this. There's an integrity about it and it also invites challenge and different viewpoints. To simply be told a way of doing something without acknowledging the source feels patronising. I like it when people expect me - and trust me - to think.”
“Yes, I feel much more motivated by CPD that is underpinned by research as I know that people have really tried things out with children rather than made something up and hoped for the best!”
“Having research that underpins the CPD that we are doing shows us that there are already results which will prove that what were doing is likely to benefit both teachers and pupils.”
“It adds more credibility to what you are learning.”
The following are useful sources for readings:
Some suggested ways of working:
- Mathemapedia on the NCETM web portal;
- Teacher Enquiry on the NCETM web portal;
- the ATM (Mathematics Teaching) and MA (Mathematics in Schools, Primary Magazine, Equals) journals;
- the NCETM online magazines – Primary, Secondary and FE;
- BSRLM (British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics).
- take it in turns within the group to be the person who finds and distributes the paper or article to read;
- circulate this to everyone ahead of a meeting, with a general invitation to read, annotate and comment on anything that is significant for you (this could be an agreement, disagreement or point for clarification);
- discuss at meeting;
- appoint one person as note-taker to record important points;
- agree one thing for each of you to try before the next reading/meeting.