How do we improve attendance at CPD sessions?
- late afternoon/twilight sessions work better
- go into schools or add your CPD session to a pre-arranged meeting e.g. LA network
- AQA are beginning to investigate running online seminars but it is early days
- getting the title right is vital. The title should appeal to senior leaders who will be signing off the cost/time for teachers to participate in the course e.g. focus on increasing attainment of learners
- the CPD session must demonstrate longevity in its advertising i.e. details of follow-up activities, resources, networks etc
- a requirement of the National Centre Standard must be the longevity of the CPD provided
- recommend setting up an NCETM community for each CPD course that is run. Initially keep the community closed to those that attended while it builds up, then open it up to all. This not only delivers longevity to the CPD but also offers an insight for the provider to see impact of course.
How do you measure impact?
- evaluation sheet on day
- for longer term impact have evaluation at set points in following year with both pupils and teachers
- AQA have not yet evaluated any of their online courses.
How do you measure the impact of ASTs?
- varies from LA to LA
- often difficult as ASTs are not managed by the maths adviser but by a different LA officer. AST support is much better when it is organised by LA subject consultants
- find that lots of ASTs are not using their 20% of outreach time. LAs have no control of timetable, so often ASTs have one hour scattered across their week rather than one day or two half days, so it is impossible to get out of school. Therefore, need to support ASTs providing support via online to their outreach schools
- National Assessment Agency is producing a standard for LAs to support ASTs. Could the NCETM award an LA the Standard for its support of ASTs?
What do people think of the National Centre Standard?
- it would be good if the Standard could be awarded to individuals as well as organisations
- it is very important because people should be coming to the National Centre to search for CPD
- accreditation by the National Centre may help persuade heads of the value of that CPD course
- you need to be wary of kite-marking providers of CPD sessions as this could be seen to be only recognising courses as CPD and devaluing the vital CPD that takes place through networks, emails, reflection, reading etc
- have a look at BlueSkyEducation, a website that has online teacher logs of CPD
- for the Chartered Science award, the Science Council divides CPD into five groups and to get the charter you have to do three of the five. The five include reflection, reading etc
- TDA are setting their own standard. How will this link with National Centre?
What can we learn from CMathsTeach?
- of the 30 hrs of CPD, 20 hrs must be mathematical content
- there is not much uptake from primary because of the specialist knowledge. CMathsTeach requires degree level maths
- MaST supports primary maths specialists.
- you must be careful about defining CPD through the Standard. CPD recognised must not only equal ‘provision’ it must encompass reflection, reading a book, networking etc
- the Standard has to work for individuals providing CPD not just organisations
- the National Centre should offer top tips for marketing/planning CPD provision inc. title, longevity, using National Centre tools
- it is important to define ‘measuring impact’ and the length of time over which the evaluation is happening.
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Opening question: we run CPD for all subjects (with great success) and have just started delivering maths CPD. And maths teachers seem completely different. Other subjects respond to inspiring, cutting-edge thinking whereas maths teachers grumble if you do not give them specific lesson-focussed materials e.g. lesson plans. Why is maths different?
- heads put a great deal of pressure on maths teachers to deliver solid lesson plans because it’s a priority as a subject. Therefore, maths teachers may feel discouraged or scared about just exploring ideas.
- maths has the highest percentage of non-specialist teachers so they may not have the confidence to explore ideas and translate them into a lesson without the structure and support of specific resources and lesson plans.
- doing maths as part of CPD to engage teachers often does not work as teachers are nervous about doing maths in front of peers, they want to go away and work it out for themselves first so they don’t get it wrong in public. This is more of a problem with secondary teachers.
- networks are vital to offer ongoing support.
- it is interesting how maths is more low profile. For example, Nuffield Science is very well-known whereas Nuffield Maths is unknown.
- successful maths CPD must encourage collaboration, discussion, mutual support and ongoing networks.
- for CPD to work with maths teachers they need to feel that they have come up with the idea/approach and are not just being told someone else’s ideas. Therefore, discussion is vital.
- maths has a culture of content delivery not of skill development, unlike other subjects. Curriculum changes do not affect maths as the content does not change (not like a set text changing).
- remember ‘Lockhardt’s Lament’: the pleasure of maths discovery is denied students until degree level and above. You would not teach music by only learning the notation process and never singing.
- people who have become secondary maths teachers are usually those who responded well to being taught maths at school and that was the ‘chalk and talk’ method and so that is what they themselves want to use to teach.
- maths teachers are peculiar!
- the big problem is that maths teachers are not valued/encouraged to do maths. Research carried out by Sussex University into schools working with PGCE students and NQTs asked senior managers what they looked for in recruiting NQTs. For maths teachers, the response was that they looked for people who could keep a class in control and engage students, whereas for English the focus is on ‘does the teacher love literature and have a passion for their subject?’
- maths teachers rarely do mathematics. Art teachers do art as a hobby/passion, English teachers read, go to the theatre, cinema etc.
- it was revolutionary when Adrian Smith said all maths teachers need access to CPD that includes doing maths.
What methods is the National Centre using to award the Standard?
- they must show evidence of impact
- who is the moderation body? The process and people involved must be transparent
- what is the appeals process?
- once awarded, is the Standard permanent or is it re-evaluated?
- good CPD for maths must include maths.
- CPD providers need to encourage collaboration and avoid spoon-feeding non-specialists.
- CPD must create and utilise networks.
- the Standard must be continually re-assessed.
- the process must be transparent.