The YDM enrichment and extension pedagogy is used in the Mathematicians in Training Initiative (MITI). MITI is designed to enrich and extend the mathematics ability of students through pedagogy and resources that enable deep learning of powerful mathematics. MITI aims to develop students’ confidence, motivation and knowledge to increase participation in high-level mathematics subjects and university entrance for STEM careers.
MITI materials have been trialled in a variety of classes and found to be of benefit to all students. Many teachers are using the materials with lower performing students to provide enrichment as well as with special high-performing classes.
The YDM enrichment and extension pedagogy in the MITI project is developed through two stages as described below.
Stage 1: Investigations, problems and seamless sequencing of powerful mathematics
This stage enables mathematics teachers to:
- identify and understand the structure of high-level, powerful mathematics with respect to sequences, connections and big ideas
- build these structures and develop their strength with respect to recalling mathematical ideas, solving problems and laying the foundation for later learning
- identify, modify, construct and effectively teach investigations and problems appropriate for their students in a manner that helps build powerful mathematics ideas
- build student motivation, confidence and understanding as students move from lower years to and through high-level mathematics in Years 10 to 12
- use digital technologies to assist with the above.
Stage 2: Deep applications in futures contexts
This stage builds on Stage 1 to enable mathematics teachers to:
- identify and understand how mathematics ideas develop through abstract symbols from lower level ideas that relate easily to real-world situations to higher level ideas that can exist only in the mathematician’s mind
- understand the structures (patterns and relationships) that enable mathematics to exist outside of normal reality, yet underpin that reality
- build mathematics ideas across year levels and topics, and gain generic understandings of how new mathematics can be added to existing knowledge with least difficulty and how this can be placed within a global understanding
- maintain students’ interest, motivation, confidence and understanding as they complete high-level mathematics subjects in order to increase participation in STEM subjects in tertiary institutions
- build the above through strong use of digital technologies.
The first stage of MITI has been piloted in secondary schools since 2014.
Participants in enrichment and extension projects receive professional development and materials designed to develop deep learning of powerful mathematics.
Projects run for one or two years (one year for each stage) and include the following components:
- professional development for each stage comprising 6 x 1 days per year for up to four teachers per school
- resources including books and collections of units of work covering investigations, technology-based activities, instructional sequences showing transitions from Years 7–9 to Years 10–12, and business/STEM applications
- online support through a QUT Blackboard community site.