Designing and using professional development resources for inquiry-based learning

Abstract

This paper describes an attempt to design, analyse and refine professional development (PD) resources that encourage the implementation of inquiry-based learning (IBL). We describe the iterative development of the resources in England with over 100 mathematics teachers from secondary, tertiary and adult education and then analyse the impact these resources had on teachers’ beliefs and practices and the issues arising. This evaluation revealed that teachers had moved away from transmission-based orientations, encouraged by the use of less structured tasks and sample lesson plans, but some found it difficult to adopt IBL pedagogies. The most significant issues for teachers may be summarised as: confusing IBL with ‘discovery’ learning; developing and managing collaborative cultures within the classroom; and planning lessons that adapt to the emerging needs of learners.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, is an independent national inspection service that reports directly to Parliament in the UK.

  2. 2.

    The Cronbach alpha for the T statements was 0.63.

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Acknowledgments

This paper is based on work carried out within the following funded projects: Bowland Maths funded by the Bowland Charitable Trust (UK); ‘Learning Mathematics through Discussion and Reflection’ funded by the Learning and Skills Development Agency (UK); ‘Improving Learning in Mathematics’ funded by the Standards Unit, Department for Education and Skills (UK); ‘Maths4Life’ funded by National Research and Development Centre for adult literacy and numeracy (UK), and the PRIMAS project funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Program under grant agreement n° 244380.

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Swan, M., Pead, D., Doorman, M. et al. Designing and using professional development resources for inquiry-based learning. ZDM Mathematics Education 45, 945–957 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11858-013-0520-8

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Keywords

  • Professional Development
  • Mathematics Teacher
  • Professional Development Program
  • Pedagogical Issue
  • High Prior Knowledge