About These Modules
These modules explore some of the pedagogical challenges that arise when introducing investigative, non-routine problem solving activities to the classroom.
The modules are activity-based; built around a collection of example classroom activities. The intention is that, as part of the Professional Development (PD) process, teachers will plan inquiry-based lessons to use with their own class and, at a later meeting, report back on their experiences.
Each module includes a PD session guide and handouts for teachers, as well as sample classroom materials and suggested lesson plans. Several of the lessons include the use of simple computer software.
Also included are several video sequences showing teachers trying these materials with their own classes. These form a stimulating basis for discussion during the PD sessions.
The modules have been compiled for PRIMAS from professional development materials developed by the Shell Centre team at the Centre for Research in Mathematics Education, University of Nottingham. These materials were originally written for two projects:
- Bowland Maths is a project aimed at developing the key processes involved in mathematical problem solving, using a range of realistic and fantasy scenarios. This was funded by the Bowland Charitable Trust.
- Improving Learning in Mathematics is a project aimed at developing the understanding of mathematical concepts. This was originally funded by the Department for Education and Skills Standards Unit.
The software applets can be browsed as part of each module. If you want to install them separately on students' machines you can download the set (and more) as a Windows installer (MSI). Alternatively, they are availavble in browser-based format for any system that supports Flash.
If you plan a lesson using software, please check that the software is installed and working before the lesson. Remember to check that it works from student machines and user accounts.
Note, however, that all of the print materials are available in .DOC and .PDF form, so the sessions can be conducted without a computer or internet connection (although the videos are highly recommended).
2018 Note: 10 years on, Flash is becoming less popular since it is not supported on iOS or Android phones/tablets. Desktop browsers might will ask you for confirmation before running Flash. Video content and Applets may not run in downloaded files. Unfortunately, there is currently no ongoing funding to support updating these materials. However, a more tablet-friendly version the English PD modules from which some of these materials were adapted casn be found on the Bowland Maths website.