Introduction

Introduction RationaleGeneral Objectives Structure of the course materials

This MaSDiV professional development course aims to support the teaching of science and mathematics in diverse and multicultural contexts for the benefit of all students, regardless of their cultural or socioeconomic background.

A novelty in this program is the use of mathematics and science learning to enhance the social and civic dimensions of education promoting values that are cornerstones of modern democratic and multicultural societies. The main target group is lower secondary school teachers teaching students aged 11-16.

The PD course features three modules presenting inquiry-based learning (IBL):

  • as an approach for addressing achievement-related diversity
  • in real-life, relevant contexts so as to promote fundamental values of our societies
  • and as a tool for intercultural learning.

Mathematics and science are vital prerequisites for active participation in society and belong to the eight key competences outlined in the EU framework for key competences (EC 2007). However, across the EU, 17% of 15-year-olds underachieve in mathematics and science. In mathematics, that figure rises to 22%, and can be as high as 36.6% among students with low socioeconomic backgrounds (ET 2020). Changing societies, increased migration and changes in students’ needs together with changes in the aims of science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM) education resulted in an urgent need for inclusive education that promotes learning in groups with different competence levels and cultural backgrounds.

This PD course provides an evidence-based approach to tackle current challenges in STEM education: the underachievement of students, linking mathematics and science competences with social and civic competences and effectively supporting teachers as they face increasing social, cultural and competence-related diversity in their classrooms.

  • To strengthen beliefs and self-efficacy about using inquiry based learning (IBL) to address diversity; showing the relevance and implications of mathematics and science and promoting fundamental values and taking into account cultural differences
  • To enrich knowledge focused on ethical and cultural dimensions of mathematics and science to promote fundamental learning
  • To acquire knowledge and understanding of the main challenges related with teaching in multicultural science and mathematics classrooms, such as dealing with controversial issues
  • To gain skills to apply the course knowledge into a practical knowledge related to interventions in multicultural science and mathematics classrooms
  • To develop teachers’ self-reflection on their classroom teaching as regards inclusive science education (thereby indicating their knowledge of mathematics and science education and their skills).

The course is structured in three modules. Each module has a set of activities. For each module an outline is available for the educator (download here). It includes the specific aims, a description of the activities and homework and a list with references to literature. Presentation (ppt) and worksheets for participants are provided separately (download here).

We designed the PD course in a way that the course leader(s) have some degrees of freedom. This is important because the target groups can differ (math/science teachers, etc.). You can vary in:

  • the order of the activities (and sometimes even the preferred length)
  • the examples (maths, science, or a mix)
  • the homework (this depends on the number of meetings).

Please consult the manual (download here) on how to adapt the course to your setting.

Alongside the PD materials there are example classroom worksheets (download here). These worksheets can be used within the PD course, but also in the classroom (by the teachers). And every classroom worksheet also has a lesson plan.

The tested and revised modules (including presentation slides & worksheets) will be available in February 2020.