The Impact of Masters Level Study on Practising Mathematics Teachers

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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
Stream: Education and Social Welfare
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Julie-Ann Edwards

Lecturer in Mathematics Education, School of Education
Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences, University of Southampton

Southampton, Hampshire, UK

Dr Julie-Ann Edwards has research interests in the teaching and learning of mathematics, and in the training of teachers for effective classroom teaching and learning. She is particularly interested in the acquisition and use of mathematical knowledge, especially in collaborative learning groups in mathematics classrooms. Her research has particularly focused on the use and impact of friendship groups on the mathematical reasoning and levels of deep mathematical understanding attained in classrooms of learners aged 10-15. More recently, her research on collaborative learning has extended to encompass models of collaborative practice and communities of practice in teacher training. Her other research interests include affective aspects of learning mathematics and affective responses to the use of ICT in mathematics learning. Prior to taking up her post at the University of Southampton, she taught mathematics in primary and secondary schools in the UK and in New Zealand.

Ref: I08P0908