Document Type

Conference Paper

Book Title or Conference Proceedings Title

Impact: Making a difference

Department

Institute for Educational Development, East Africa; Professional Development Centre, Karachi

Abstract

The Action Research Project in Mathematics Education was undertaken to study the impact on teaching and learning, of strategies introduced in the Advanced Diploma Programme in Education: Mathematics (2003), offered by AKU-IED. This programme is a one-year field-based programme. The main aim of the programme is to develop exemplary teachers who are reflective practitioners. Teachers from sponsoring schools participate in the programme which is designed such that seminars are held at AKU-IED during summer and winter breaks and on Saturdays, when most schools are off. During term time tutors visit the participants in the school. The purposes of field visits include: provision of classroom support to participants in their efforts to implement their learning in the real classroom; identify areas where participants require further support; and to enable reflection. Action research was carried out by the tutors and the programme participants where certain teaching strategies were identified, introduced and implemented in the classroom. The implementation process of these strategies was studied by the programme tutors. The purpose of the tutors’ research, which is reported here, was to generate local evidence of impact and look for micro impacts which would help justify teaching these methods to teachers more generally. Findings from the study showed that the teaching strategies introduced as part of the Advanced Diploma Programme led to a positive change in the teacher’s classroom practice, in the mathematics that the students learnt in the classroom, and how they learnt it. However, the study also revealed that certain contextual and other factors mediated the potential of these strategies to impact the classroom. The findings reported here primarily discuss: the teacher’s subject matter knowledge, their experience and ability to handle student responses and their critical (as opposed to an unquestioning) use of the strategies introduced.