Online Professional Development for Delivering the Mathematical Reasoning Programme in Year 2

This EEF-funded pilot evaluation aims to assess if the Online Teacher Training to implement the Mathematical Reasoning Programme is acceptable to teachers and effective in preparing them and their supporting TAs to deliver the programme.

The online training includes a course delivered in a virtual learning environment, Canvas, as well as support by specially trained Teacher Leaders. The course comprises six core modules and three additional modules. Each module includes videoed mini-lectures about the theoretical foundations of the Mathematical Reasoning Programme, activities for teachers and TAs to complete between the videoed elements of the modules, and hand-outs with files of the PowerPoint slides used in the lectures and research briefs. The modules are complemented by videos of teaching activities implemented by the Teacher Leaders when delivering the Mathematical Reasoning Programme to children. After teachers complete the first four modules, they gain access to a website with the resources for using the Mathematical Reasoning Programme with their Year 2 classes, which they are expected to start as soon as possible. The modules are complemented by three live webinars led by the Teacher Leaders that provide opportunities for reflection, evaluation, sharing of experiences (successes, challenges and ways of addressing them), and discussion of programme implementation.

The evaluation is being carried by a team from the University College London (UCL) and considers various aspects, including how acceptable the teachers found the training and how effective they thought it was in preparing them to deliver the programme. The project is taking place across 30 primary schools in different regions of England (approximately 960 pupils).

The Mathematical Reasoning Programme for Year 2 was previously evaluated by EEF, with promising results. The programme developers trained teachers face-to-face, who then delivered the programme in their classrooms. Pupils receiving the Mathematical Reasoning Programme made an additional three months’ progress in maths compared to children in comparison schools. The EEF then funded a follow-up effectiveness evaluation, which examined the impact of a scalable version of the training for delivering the Mathematical Reasoning Programme in a larger number of schools and with less involvement from the original developers. In the follow-up project, rather than delivering the training directly to teachers, the programme developers trained Maths Hub teachers, with support from the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM), who then trained teachers. In this second trial, pupils who received the Mathematical Reasoning Programme made the equivalent of one additional month’s progress in maths, on average, compared to other children. This training model, however, was difficult to scale up to a very large number of schools (due to practical and financial limitations). This led to the development of an online version of the training for teachers and TAs, which is being piloted in this project.