Secondary school maths teachers undergo major training and staff development
(April 26, 2018) – Thirty-Five secondary school mathematics teachers drawn from the eleven the educational districts are currently undergoing training in content, methodology and delivery of the mathematics programme.
The ten days workshop which commenced on Monday last at the National Centre for Resource Development (NCERD) is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the World Bank.
The 35 teachers dubbed ‘Master Trainers’ are expected to go back to their respective regions and train the remaining maths teachers there, ultimately ensuring all maths teachers countrywide from grades 7 to 11 are exposed to the same training. The workshop is being conducted by consultant Dr Yee Han Peter Joong and consist of ten modules developed by the consultant himself and addresses areas such as geometry, matrices and vectors, senior mathematics topics among other topics to come under the spotlight at the training exercise.
The training was birthed after a recent diagnostic assessment of a sample of mathematics teachers (approximately 200) was conducted. The rationale is to identify the most common topical knowledge gaps (for example algebra, geometry, trigonometry) and to inform current instructional practices that need upgrading. This assessment was conducted by a five member team lead by Mr Ameer Ali- Senior Education Officer (Mathematics) MoE, Kevaun Sears- Mathematics Head of Department (HoD), Cyril Potter College of Education, Ms Leslin Elliot-Mathematics Specialist NCERD, Saddam Hussain- Mathematics HoD Stewartville Secondary school and Vishnu Panday Mathematics Specialist, MoE.
Following the training, mathematics instructional specialists will conduct periodic school visits and formal observations of teachers’ mathematics teaching will be done. Each school will be visited no less than 3 times per academic year, for a period of 4 years. Visits will include classroom observations of all mathematics teachers, followed by verbal feedback, coaching for teachers and the Heads of the Mathematics Department.
Additionally, all secondary schools countrywide will receive kits containing mathematics teaching aids, to enable and promote the application of desired instructional practices in specific content areas. Added to that, mathematics teachers are expected to join and participate in an online “community of practice” to complement these central, regional and school-based teacher professional development workshops.
This community of practice will be facilitated weekly by the Mathematics technical group, which is composed of mathematics specialists from the MoE Secondary Secretariat, CPCE, NCERD, and the University of Guyana, (each of which rotate responsibilities for sending out mathematics instructional tips, answering teachers’ questions, posting new on-line mathematics resources, etc.).
Using the computer laboratories and internet connections available at secondary schools, teachers will receive weekly tips, lesson plans, examples of effective teaching practices and stories of other Guyanese mathematics teachers successfully applying the training.
A discussion space will also be put in place for teachers to post their own questions, share their experiences and even their lesson plans, which will also be monitored by the Mathematics Technical Group. Over time, this online space will enable teachers to learn from each other virtually and pursue their professional development on a continuous basis.
The MoE and the World Bank have agreed to support a Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP), with a strong focus on improving instruction and student achievement in mathematics. The project which started in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2019. It has three components: Strengthening the capacity of secondary school Mathematics Teachers Nationwide (US$1.8 M), expansion of general secondary school facilities (US$7.15 M); and strengthening institutional capacity and Project Management (US$1.05 M).