Outline of the project:
It is often noted that although similar resources are available to mathematics teams, there is frequently a disparity, even amongst members of a department, in how they are used and how effective different pedagogical approaches using the same resource are. The aim of this project was to look at the different ways in which heads of department, or those with responsibility within it, introduced a new idea or resource for use in their department.
Participants thought about how they might effectively utilise a particular chosen resource in their own teaching and then, drawing upon existing research into mathematical pedagogy, CPD and leadership (NCETM 2009, Hersey and Blanchard, 1988), they considered how they would provide CPD for their colleagues. The resulting case studies detail the approaches and activities used in the CPD sessions and the effectiveness of various strategies in ensuring that other members of the departments were confident in using the resource and were supported to do so. The intention of presenting these case studies is to enable teachers providing professional development within a mathematics department to draw upon these experiences to help them consider what methods might be most effective within their own situations.
Resources fell broadly into four categories: paper-based, new technologies, open tasks and practical activities. The management styles relate to those defined in Situational Leadership by Blanchard and Hersey.
Perhaps not surprisingly the team found that teachers were generally receptive to new ideas and initiatives, but that in order to ensure they were used effectively time was needed to discuss, share, trial and become confident in their use.