Dr Michiel Doorman, University of Utrecht
Prof. Martin Bilek, University of Hradec Kralove
Prof. Valentina Dagiene, University of Vilnius
Prof. Dr Philipp Schmiemann, University of Duisburg-Essen
Here you can download the schedule for track 3 (final version): Conference Programme Track 3.pdf
Carefully designed classroom tasks can be a powerful tool for enhancing the quality of maths and science teaching, influencing the classroom culture and fostering students’ learning. Classroom tasks stimulating inquiry and/or based on real problems from the world of work give rise to more meaningful and motivating maths and science learning. Appropriate tasks support students in developing scientific reasoning, as well as transversal competences such as: critical thinking; problem solving; creativity; teamwork and communication skills. Simultaneously, good tasks secure basic knowledge, allow learning from mistakes and cumulative learning, and facilitate autonomous learning. Other possible benefits include promoting student co-operation, offering interdisciplinary approaches and contributing to the reduction of gender stereotypes. Obviously, tasks have to complement current school curricula.
In the process of developing a task culture and implementing good tasks in classrooms, a spiral model of professional development has proven efficient and effective within various projects (e.g. EU projects LEMA, COMPASS, PRIMAS). In the spiral model, teachers actively experience inquiry learning with new tasks themselves, subsequently implement the tasks in their classes and reflect on their experiences. Teachers thus work in continuing cycles of analysis – implementation – reflection. After gaining some experience, learning communities are able to develop their own tasks. This process ensures shared ownership of tasks, and thereby facilitates their use.
In addition to exemplary, high quality classroom tasks, spiral model professional development requires appropriate materials designed for a learning community’s teacher educator or facilitator to use and that support them in the work of supervising teachers.
Proposals of paper, poster or materials presentations in this track will address some of the following questions (examples):
How can self-explanatory materials be designed that have large potential for scaling-up?