Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The Reflective Mathematics Teacher

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Mathematics and Science Education

DESCRIPTION Before students actually go out on teaching practice, a series of lectures will introduce them to the theory and practice of reflective writing. Apart from setting the ground for reflective practice, this exercise will facilitate the students’ writing of self-evaluations in the teaching practice file. This part of the study-unit will also serve to introduce students to the notion of mentoring and to how they will need to behave as mentees in a school-based mentoring scenario.

During teaching practice proper, students will meet on a weekly basis for two-hour long sessions with their university lecturer to discuss any critical issues or problems which they may be facing at school. The aim is to develop a community of shared learning and practice which will enable the students to work collaboratively, discuss issues and learn from each other.

Following teaching practice, the students will use evidence regarding their developed skills and competencies to produce their Professional Development Portfolio. This process of constant reflection will help students gain the expertise they need to become exemplary teachers and professionals. Throughout this process, the notion of 'becoming a teacher' it will be emphasised and students will be encouraged to see their professional growth as a journey that links together initial teacher education, induction and continuing professional development.

The final part of the study-unit will be dedicated to helping students gain a thorough understanding of academic reading and writing. This component will help them learn how to analyse the professional literature and how to improve the quality of their reflective writings and academic writings more generally.

Study-Unit Aims:

- Help students gain an understanding of the theories that are relevant to the processes of reflection, mentoring and professional development.
- Enable students to develop a reflective outlook on their school experiences, particularly within the classroom. The idea is to instil reflective practice as a tool toward becoming exemplary teachers and professionals.
- Guide students on how to behave as mentees in a school-based mentoring scenario.
- Improve students' academic reading and writing.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- discuss the theories that underpin the processes of reflection, mentoring and professional development.
- recognise the importance of reflective practice as a tool to gain professional competencies.
- explain the links between professional learning and being part of a community of shared practice.
- recognise how a Portfolio helps one's professional development.
- analyse academic readings and practise academic writing.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- demonstrate a reflect approach to one's own practices.
- practise reflective writing.
- create a Professional Development Portfolio.
- illustrate behaviour that is consonant to a school-based mentoring scenario.
- analyse academic readings and demonstrate good quality academic writing.
- operate within a community of shared practice.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Bolton, G. (2005) Reflective Practice: Writing & Professional development. Los Angeles: SAGE.
- Chambers, P. (2008) Teaching Mathematics: Developing as a Reflective Secondary Teacher. Los Angeles: SAGE
- Hall McEntee, G., Appleby, J., Dowd, J., Grant, J., Hole., & Silva, P. (2003) At the Heart of Teaching: A Guide to Reflective Practice. New York: Teachers College.
- Pollard, A. (2002) Reflective Teaching: Effective and Evidence-Based Professional Practice. London: Continuum.

Supplementary Readings:

- Buhagiar, M.A., and D.A. Chetcuti. 2014. The SForD-TP project: Promoting school-based mentoring in initial teacher education at the University of Malta. Malta Review of Educational Research 8, no. 1: 132–46.
- Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE). 2013. Induction for Newly Qualified Teachers: Handbook. Malta: DQSE.
- Furlong, J., and T. Maynard. 1995. Mentoring Student Teachers: The Growth of Professional Knowledge. London: Routledge.
- Hobson, A.J. 2002. Student teachers’ perceptions of school-based mentoring in Initial Teacher Training (ITT). Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning 10, no. 1: 5–20.
- Hudson, P. 2013. Mentoring as professional development: ‘Growth for both’ mentor and mentee. Professional Development in Education 39, no. 5: 771–83.
- Chetcuti, D. (nd) Professional Development Portfolio. Malta: DMSTE, Faculty of Education, University of Malta.
- Bailey, S. (2015) Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students. New York: Routledge.
- Buhagiar, M.A., & Attard Tonna, M. (2015) School-based Mentoring in Initial Teacher Education: The Exploratory Phase. Malta: Faculty if Education, University of Malta.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: 70 ECTS at Undergraduate level or higher in Mathematics

Co-requisite Study-unit: LLI5001

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Placement and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Portfolio SEM2 Yes 40%
Reflective Diary SEM2 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Michael Buhagiar
James Calleja
Mark A Farrugia

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.