This guidance page is designed specifically for those in Initial Teacher Training, whether primary, secondary, or FE.
Almost everything contained within the NCETM portal will be useful to you in your training year(s). However, we have picked out some essentials here and made them quick and easy to find.
Q: Where can I find ideas and resources for rich activities that teachers have used, together with their comments on why they chose the activities and how effective they were in practice?
A: The What Makes a Good Resource? microsite exemplifies just what rich activities are, and how they can be used in the classroom. It’s great to read about actual classroom practice.
Q: My mathematics subject knowledge is not as strong as I would like and it’s something I am keen to work at. What resources are there to help me?
A: The Mathematics Content Knowledge self-evaluation tool (SET), and in particular the examples and next steps are designed exactly to meet this need. You can track your use of the SET in your Personal Learning Space, and you can even share it with peers or tutors or mentors if you wish.
Q: I’d like to find out more about the Teachers' Standards.
A: Three information sheets have been produced by the Department for Education. They explain what the standards are and how they should be used. Furhter information can be found here.
Q: Where can I find videos of teachers talking about how their ideas about teaching and learning underpin what they do in the classroom?
A: All of us have theories that influence and drive our practice but they are often left unarticulated and embedded in that practice. In Teachers Talking Theory: in Action we hear experienced teachers talking about their beliefs and theories and sharing some of their practice with us.
Q: Where can I find research articles together with questions, activities and prompts which will help me access key ideas?
A: The Accessing Research microsite is a great place to start, providing guidance on how to start reading and understanding research. The Research Gateway provided by the British Education Index, is a searchable database of mathematics education research.
Q: Where can I find resources which support me in exploring particular pedagogical issues and doing my own research?
A: The Mathemapedia is a Wiki for mathematics education. Each entry provides you with a trigger for new ideas and approaches. They range from short provocative paragraphs outlining some aspect of pedagogy, to in-depth research writing. And you can even add your own entry, so if you want to, please contribute!
Having looked at some of the activities offered here, and perhaps discussed some of them with others involved on your course, reflect on:
the effects of watching, listening to or reading about other teachers’ ideas, views and practice
Did you find yourself instantly agreeing with what others said? What does this say about your views and aspirations for your teaching?
Did you find yourself instantly disagreeing with what others said? What does this say about your views and aspirations for your teaching?
how certain activities worked in the classroom
What attracted you to the activity? Was it an element of the mathematics, the associated pedagogy or something else? What does this say about what you value and aspire to in maths teaching?
What were the challenges for you as the teacher when you took this activity into the classroom? Did you develop any teaching techniques as a result of trying out something new?
How did your pupils respond? Did you notice any specific misconceptions? Were you struck by any particular responses or reactions? Did it produce some learning?
any guidance you have read
What views, principles and beliefs do you hold about mathematics teaching?
Did anything that you read confirm or contradict these views?
Are you developing new ideas about mathematics, its learning and its teaching as you read the views of others?
You could record your reflections in your Personal Learning Space, and perhaps share elements with some of your peers, or your tutors or mentors.
You might like to join the ITE Student Forum to share your ideas, read what others think, ask your own questions. Your contributions will be valued by others.
The NCETM online magazines are produced monthly, and always include interesting mathematical ideas. The most obvious sections to explore are ‘Maths to share' in the early years and primary magazines, ‘A Resource for the Classroom’ in the secondary magazine, and ‘Mathematical Moments’ in the FE magazine. Extend your own mathematical knowledge using these resources.
It has been said by some recently that ‘teachers learn best when they learn from each other’. If you know of another link to an activity or resource on the NCETM website that you think would be useful or appropriate for readers of this guidance, please use the comments box below to let us and them know of your idea.
We have many courses and networks available, search in our Professional Development Calendar
to find a suitable course or network.
“Activity by itself is not enough; it is the sense that is made of it that matters” (DRIVER, R. (1983) The Pupil as Scientist?, Milton Keynes, Open University Press.
For the things you have tried out for yourself in your own classroom to become useful pieces of professional learning, there is a need to capture them, reflect upon them and remark on them. The NCETM Personal Learning Space (PLS) allows you to do this.
Use My Learning Journal to collect your thoughts and reflections as well as to log actions; documents can be attached to your entries. You could do this now by visiting your own PLS.
Use My Favourites and Notes to take note of and organise interesting things you have found (like this page) and want to return to easily in future.
Use the Sharing and Contacts facility to share elements of your PLS with colleagues, selecting them from your own list of contacts
Use the “Request a reminder” function
Find out more details of these and other functions of the PLS.