This paper addresses the question how to ensure the design and execution of mathematical subject knowledge auditing impacts positively on the development of students into competent beginner teachers of mathematics. The need for this research stemmed from lecturers’ dissatisfaction with the existing assessment procedures, namely the high failure rate and negative impact on students’ attitudes towards mathematics teaching.
The research draws on existing literature, feedback from current students and professional conversations with colleagues working in the Initial Teacher Education mathematics departments of several institutions.
The aim is to lead a change in practice concerning the assessment of students’ mathematical subject knowledge. The research endeavours to suggest an alternative framework which is sufficiently robust to ensure mathematics lecturers feel confident within their role as gatekeepers to the teaching profession. A key consideration is also to ensure that the assessment practice is positively aligned with sound primary pedagogy and serves to generate enthusiasm and confidence within the student teachers.
Chrissi and Vicki's abstract
Providing and receiving feedback is a hot issue for some time now in Higher Education. Does it have to be this way? Is there anything we can do, and should do, to enhance the feedback experience of our students and make it more meaningful? Where do we start?We work with academics and other professionals who support learning at the university and offer the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) which enables new academics and other professionals who support learning to develop their teaching skills further, explore innovative teaching methods and approaches but also create the environment in which they can start shaping their teaching philosophy and develop their academic identity.
Within the Engaging and Enhancing Student Learning (EESL) module of the PGCAP, we are using electronic portfolios for and of learning and to conduct asynchronous formative feedback conversations on work-in-progress and completed tasks. We encourage a continuous dialogue throughout the EESL to enable deeper and continuous engagement and build-in opportunities for media-rich asynchronous feedback conversations between tutor and participant using digital technologies. It has been noted that these feedback conversations have a positive and powerful effect and impact on engagement and learning. Through feedback conversations sensitive, meaningful and highly personalised feedback and feed forward is provided to our students which they find useful for their learning.
This paper consists of a reflective conversation between two academics and two academic developers who discuss the portfolio integrated feedback used during the EESL module, strategies, benefits and impact.