The University of Adelaide is partnering with Education Services Australia on a new $9.5 million project to strengthen the capacity of teachers to teach mathematics and numeracy in Australian schools.
Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, announced the new funding this week.
The project will deliver a series of mathematics Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for teachers and also produce an online mathematics and numeracy resources hub for teachers, parents and students.
Professor Jennie Shaw, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Adelaide said professional learning was a key ingredient to growing support for teachers to engage and develop students’ skills and knowledge.
“Our series of MOOCs in primary and secondary mathematics and numeracy will be offered free to teachers around the country,” Professor Shaw said.
“A strong foundation in mathematics can unlock so many opportunities for our economy and our future generations’ ability to participate and grow industries of the future.”Dr Rebecca Vivian, Project Lead, School of Computer Science, The University of Adelaide
“MOOCs are an important way of learning because they provide a scalable way to deliver teacher professional learning, allowing teachers from anywhere with an internet connection to participate in high-quality professional learning at their own pace and to connect with other teachers.
“Our education and mathematics experts will bring together innovative pedagogy, resources and real-world applications that teachers can immediately apply in their classrooms.
“We’ll also be recruiting innovative mathematics educators to help develop these resources and to support schools in each state and territory to access them.
“We also recognise that not all teachers have reliable internet access, so we will also provide resources offline so no one misses out.
“This program builds on our expertise in online and technology-rich education models as demonstrated through our national K-12 Digital Technologies program in AI, Cyber Security and Digital Technologies engaging more than 40,000 teachers across Australia.”
Project Lead in the University of Adelaide’s School of Computer Science, Dr Rebecca Vivian, said mathematics was at the core of the future STEM economy.
“A strong foundation in mathematics can unlock so many opportunities for our economy and our future generations’ ability to participate and grow industries of the future,” Dr Vivian said.
“Teachers are a key influencer in a students’ decision to embrace mathematics study and careers; if teachers feel supported and excited to teach mathematics, they can pass this enthusiasm onto students in classrooms.
“We’ve already had huge success in engaging teachers in professional learning through our Computer Science Education Research Group’s MOOCs – with many in remote and regional areas saying how much they appreciate being able to participate and connect with other educators across Australia.
“Many of our teachers have gone from saying they were nervous to teach STEM subjects to being ‘enthralled and excited’, even championing their own grassroots sessions in schools using our CSER MOOCs.”
The new resources will be progressively rolled out from the end of this year.