An American Experience
After more than 18 months working with schools in New Hampshire to introduce the Mathematics Task Centre way of working and resources, Dr. Dick Evans responded in the following way to an inquiry from a fellow American interested in beginning the project. Dr. Evans could be contacted for further information at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I would strongly recommend having either Doug Williams or Charles
Lovitt do some introductory sessions about the program. If you think about
it, it was having seen aspects of the project in action that excited you
about doing it.
|It is a great program, but don't short sell the need for professional development.
||The fascinating thing about this was that the teachers who had attended
introductory sessions done by Charles Lovitt the previous year were the
people who asked the administrators to get the schools involved. In other
words, it was a "grass roots" project. Most of the administrators were
excited to see that their teachers were excited about doing the project.
From there on, it sold itself.
I think having Charles or Doug run workshops and, if possible involving
a teacher of the program to share his/her experiences and 'tricks of the
trade' would be very helpful. We had Michael Ymer, who is a teacher of
Grades 3, 4, and 5 outside of Melbourne and who has helped 2 schools implement
the program, spend some time with the teachers in conjunction with one of
Charles' visits. He gave our teachers lots of insights that even Charles
or Doug could not give. He also provided lots of practical suggestions of
using the program on a daily basis. This is very important.
It is a great program, but don't short sell the need for professional
development. Some additional comments from our experience which might guide you
- You need to get a commitment by the teachers and administration in
the school to work on implementing the program.
- Your teachers will need to have some training in using the tasks,
and they will need to be familiar with the tasks as they have students
implement them. We found the teachers who had a week or two of just
becoming familiar with the tasks were more likely to use them and have a
better understanding of how to use them.
- I found going to the schools and working with the teachers to
present lessons was very helpful to them. It also made them less nervous
about implementing them.
- We also found that having sessions after school to discuss the
process and to work on some activities was very helpful. The teachers
really enjoyed that. The teachers will need lots of support.