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Educational aims

This Graduate Diploma will provide you with the continuing professional development necessary for developing your skills in, and knowledge of, the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Your studies will:

  • develop your mathematical thinking
  • raise your awareness of some of the different ways people learn mathematics
  • provide you with experience of different teaching approaches and how they impact on learning
  • develop your awareness of, and facility with, the use of ICT in the context of learning and teaching mathematics
  • develop your knowledge and understanding of the mathematics which underpins the UK school curriculum.

Learning outcomes

The programme leading to this award provides you with opportunities to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the following areas.

Knowledge and understanding

When you have completed this award you should have developed your knowledge and understanding of:

  • the role of mathematical thinking in the process of doing mathematics
  • some current issues in mathematics education
  • some different theories relating to teaching and learning mathematics
  • a variety of approaches to teaching mathematics
  • a variety of ways that people learn mathematics
  • connections between different mathematical topics, between mathematics and other subjects, and between mathematics and the world
  • the importance of reflecting on your own practice as a teacher and learner.

Cognitive skills

When you have completed this award you should be confident to:

  • approach mathematical problems in a number of ways
  • relate issues in your practice to those in the mathematics education literature
  • reflect on your own practice and report on it in ways that others can understand.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you have completed this award you should be confident in:

  • using mathematical resources effectively in your own professional situation
  • recognising opportunities where mathematical thinking can be encouraged by learners and develop a number of ways of doing this
  • evaluating the relevance of articles about mathematics education for your own practice
  • applying the work of others working in mathematics education to improve and develop your own practice
  • using and applying the results of your reflection on your own practice.

Key skills

When you have completed this award, you will have made use of the Key Skills necessary for the effective teaching and learning of the following aspects of mathematics:

  • developing resources for teaching and learning mathematics from current affairs, from a range of text material, and from the web
  • communicating effectively in writing about a particular aspect of mathematics education
  • recognising your personal strengths and weaknesses in teaching and learning mathematics.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will learn independently, at a distance, from teaching texts supported by references, multimedia packages, directed reading, CD-ROM, and web-supported software and web-based resources. Your activities will be supported through computer conferences and tutor feedback.

All the learning outcomes will be developed through published distance-learning materials, including specially written study materials, study guides and assignment guides. Whilst studying these materials you will work on mathematical tasks in a variety of contexts and relate your experiences of learning with the main module ideas and the experiences of other learners.

You will be assessed through tutor-marked assignments and project reports.  These require you to reflect on the processes involved in the learning and teaching mathematics and to evaluate your experiences as a teacher and learner of the subject. An open-ended project with tutor feedback and guidance will provide evidence of your skill development.