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European Innovative Teaching Award
Tionscadal

Math Labyrinth as a Method of Increasing Knowledge Levels by Solving Mathematical Problems

School: SOUG Koco Racin, Veles

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Topic(s) addressed

The project’s goal was to enhance digital integration in learning, teaching and training activities in secondary education; support teachers in acquiring or improving the use of ICT for learning purposes; encourage ICT-based teaching; and promote OER across different languages as horizontal priorities. Furthermore, the development of innovative approaches to teaching in technology-rich environments (with a particular focus on Mathematics) formed one of the project’s field-specific priorities. Topics addressed by the project included basic skills training in key competences (such as mathematics and literacy), digital competences in new ICT technologies, and new innovative curricula, educational methods, and development of training courses. The project’s main objectives were the development and deployment of an ‘interactive book’ using new methodology, an e-learning platform with digital resources, the development of guidelines on how to apply the MATH-Labyrinth method and an interactive book for teachers and students, and, the development of a structured course for Key Action 1 - staff mobility.

Target groups

Six organisations participated in the project (three schools with more than 230 teachers), as well as more than 2250 students from North Macedonia, Italy, and Bulgaria (between the ages of 14 - 18), a university from North Macedonia, and 2 mathematical associations from Cyprus and Greece. Target groups external to the membership included students, math teachers, other individuals from the education process, and school managers and decision-makers, as elaborated below.

Students

The project’s results were disseminated among teachers from regions where partner organisations were located through meetings, workshops, and conferences; following which, said results were indirectly disseminated to these teachers’ students. The Cyprus Mathematical Society (CMS) presented a brief description of the project and its objectives to 550 students during a presentation of CMS’ activities in Limassol and Nicosia, Cyprus. The schools’ participants then shared the project’s results to more than 3000 other students from regional schools through meetings and presentations.

Math teachers

Project results were disseminated to an audience of more than 9000 through meetings, workshops, presentations, and a newsletter (sent electronically using an email database of EU schools and teachers). Newsletters were also sent to more than 2100 mathematicians at the European level.

Other individuals involved in the education process

The resources that were made available on the e-learning platform allowed external individuals involved in the education process to access project-relevant information. During the project’s duration and following its completion, the project’s website was updated with all of its activities and outputs. Moreover, all project partners informed the public of the project’s aim and results through EU-level web articles, TV and radio outlets, and press conferences.

School managers and decision makers

This target group was acquainted with the project’s method so they may continue informing their partners and relevant stakeholders regarding the method’s benefits towards the development of students’ knowledge base. Participating organisations also sent newsletters to an email list of more than 300 schools and authorities at the national level.

Methodologies

MATH Labyrinth is a project that gives learning Math a new dimension, with the project’s interactive books consisting of more than 100 real-life problems developed by teachers and students. The learning’s peer-to-peer approach provides an insight on how students think, while encouraging their creativity and involvement in the process of teaching and learning. Teachers functioned as students’ creative mentors and monitored their work, while providing suggestions and directions on their performance.

Environments

The project’s main output, the Math Labyrinth interactive book, is innovative in that not many similar undertakings have been carried out in North Macedonia and partnership countries. The output offers students a digital learning environment through the use of their devices, which enables them to increase their key competences in math. The three partner schools contributed to the interactive book’s design, which contains more than 100 real-life problems that can be implemented in their curricular and extracurricular activities. Monitored by university math professors, the math problems provided are of high quality, and comply with the educational syllabuses of partner countries. The project’s learning environment encouraged cross-sectoral cooperation, digital learning, and the role of schools as enablers of innovation.

Teachers

The project references teachers as innovators capable of designing real-life mathematical problems – according to students’ age groups and interests – and uploading them onto a digital platform. They may thus be considered innovators that provide useful and interactive content in relation to the education process, which corresponds to the learning patterns of contemporary students. By selecting problems and designing them, and learning the ways in which they can be uploaded onto this platform, teachers enhance their skills and competences with digital tools, while improving their cooperative skills with colleagues and the organisation within which they are located. The peer-learning process references the observation of mathematical problems being created and exposure to approaches being utilised by other teachers – culminating in a process of continuous learning.

Impact

The innovative method and the application of ICT-based methodologies have contributed to improvements in students’ basic skills and competencies – as determined by internal testing and evaluations, as well as the provision of more attractive Math education approaches at schools. The project resulted in improved competences in providing innovative approaches to teaching Math; improved competences in addressing the low achievement of basic skills through the use of more effective teaching methods; increased level of integration in the teaching of basic Math skills, and the promotion of problem-based learning; increased use of ICT-based methodologies for learning Math and the provision of more attractive Math education; increased level of digital competence; and, increased access to OER and IT tools based on scientific information, as well as international cooperation in their application to activities – including a new curricula and methodology.

Benefits of the project, particularly for teachers, include knowledge on how to reduce disparities in learning outcomes that affect all learners (especially underachievers); the development of ICT-based methodologies for learning Math while providing for a more attractive education and training experience; the creation of an e-platform for teaching and learning Math; the implementation of innovative practices in education and the use of open-educational resources; enhanced professional development of teachers involved in the education process; and, student involvement within the learning process. Moreover, the project also resulted in a number of outputs such as a collection of good practices (IO-1), an interactive Math Labyrinth book (IO-2), guidelines for the Math Labyrinth method (IO-3), evaluation reports (IO-4), and, a structured course for the Math Labyrinth method (IO-5).

Páirtithe leasmhara

Rannpháirtithe

Cyprus Mathematical Society

Seoladh
Cyprus

Goce Delčev University

Seoladh
North Macedonia

IISS Oreste Del Prete

Seoladh
Italy

Mathematical Society of Southeastern Europe

Seoladh
Greece

St. Cyril and Methodius High School of Humanities

Seoladh
Bulgaria