The Impact of Masters Level Study on Practising Mathematics Teachers
The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) was set up in England by the UK Government as a national infrastructure to provide effective strategic leadership for mathematics-specific continuing professional development (CPD). One of its aims is to improve the quality and availability of mathematics-specific CPD. In addition, the NCETM is committed to identifying and sharing successful practice in mathematics professional development. To this end, the Centre has funded a variety of research projects to enhance current CPD practice, or examine systematically mathematics-specific CPD opportunities for teachers. This research study follows a group of teachers over two years as they complete their Masters degree in mathematics education. Anecdotal evidence suggests that undertaking a Masters degree provides opportunities for CPD which have impact on teachers’ professional development, but there is little systematic research in the UK to support this evidence. The study examines evidence of the impact of this Masters level work on the teachers’ personal and professional development, on teaching and learning in their classrooms, and on wider impact in relation to the mathematics department and the school as a whole. Findings from the first seven months of the study are presented. These suggest that the ways that this group of teachers engage with each other in Masters level study already have impact within and beyond their classrooms.
Keywords: Teachers' Continuing Professional Development, Masters Level Study, Impact on Professional Development
Dr. Julie-Ann Edwards
Lecturer in Mathematics Education, School of Education