PowerTeaching Maths

Development

PowerTeaching Maths for KS2 is an approach to primary maths developed by the IEE with the aim of improving performance in all schools. It provides teachers with a framework that can be used with any mathematics curriculum. Based on previous research, PTM uses embedded multimedia and co-operative learning with the aims of:

  • Increasing the numeracy skills of pupils in Years 4-5
  • Increasing teachers’ knowledge and understanding of effective strategies for teaching numeracy to pupils.

Embedded multimedia: An important feature of the programme is the use of embedded multimedia. Short digital video clips, animations, and puppet sketches are judiciously introduced into teachers’ lessons to directly reinforce the learning objectives.

Co-operative Learning: In co-operative learning, children work in pairs or small groups to help each other master concepts and skills. It is one of the most widely researched and generally accepted approaches to pedagogy in mathematics. Research on co-operative learning in maths has found strong impacts if the methods incorporate two key elements: group goals and individual accountability. These techniques form an important part of the structure of PTM.

Evaluation in Years 4 and 5

A pilot study was conducted in 2010/11. The programme and resources were well received by the teachers who participated, and the pilot led to refinements of programme components, electronic resources, and priorities for training and support in the main study which ran from September 2011 to May 2012. This was a randomised controlled trial with 42 schools randomly assigned to implement PTM in Year 4 and 5 for the school year or to continue with their usual maths teaching. Pre-tests were completed in September 2011 and post-tests were completed in May 2012. The marking of test papers, data management and analysis was conducted over the period May to September 2012.

The project team was Mary Sheard, Nancy Madden, Pam Hanley, Simon Craft, Sarah Hogben, Robert Slavin, and Louise Elliott. SFA-UK provided training and follow-up support for the teachers. Resource development was funded by the Bowland Trust, and the evaluation was funded by the Nuffield Foundation

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