The program is aiming to increase students’ data science competencies and interest for real-world Math by improving Math teaching and assessment practices.
Into a data intensive world, data literacy, defined as the ability to work with, understand, and use data, is a key skill for succeeding in many professional fields, but also for navigating the day-to-day life. Some researchers (Boaler et al., 2021) expressed concerns that students failing to achieve data literacy were vulnerable to data misrepresentations, populist discourses and fake news, which may pose “a threat to truth and democracy” and argued for a more comprehensive integration of data science in school curriculum.
In the international study TIMSS 2019, the Math performance of Romanian students is among the lowest in European Union. Furthermore, when breaking down the results on content domains, for the subscale Data and Probabilities, Romanian students are performing significantly lower than their overall Mathematics score. In Romania, the Math curriculum adopted in 2017 sets data analysis skills as one of the learning outcomes for 5-8 grade students. But as revealed by the international studies, the students don`t perform as expected which is raising questions about Math teachers’ practice. As data analysis is a skill, not a topic, it needs to be covered across the curriculum, therefore, teachers must learn to work more intentionally with real-life data when teaching mathematical notions.
Teachers are offered a well-researched, effective Continuous Professional Development package:
- Ready to use teaching resources with elements of data science blended in the mandatory Math curriculum. These resources, created by Math teachers and tested in the classroom are available online, free to download by any interested teacher.
- Community of practice including a closed group on social media for Math teachers involved in the program to share their experience; Open Class practice (teachers assisting in other teachers’ classes and providing feedback); other forms of sharing (e.g. videos posted by teacher with their use of data science elements in their teaching) and support (e.g. data scientists to be invited as guest speakers for teachers and students).
- Self-paced and online course for teachers that should train teachers to define data science and identify opportunities to teach data science throughout the Math curriculum, create their own resources with data from the real world and guide investigations based on this data, and to reflect on the teaching that leads to most progress in students’ interest and engagement with Math.
At the same time ASPIRE is working for growing as an organization and ensuring the sustainability of the program. Their effort is informed by evidence gathered from experts and regular evaluations of their activities and outcomes.
EXPECTED RESULTS (2022-2023)
- 160 teachers trained and supported
- 1250 students reached