Short-Term Curriculum

The overall aim of the Short-Term Curriculum is to teach in-service teachers theoretically and practically on how to use outdoor mathematics teaching. Through the use of MathCityMap, the teachers get in touch with an innovative theory-based approach of teaching outdoor mathematics supported by technology. The Short-Term Curriculum focuses on the practical aspects of the system, thus making it easier to directly implement it.

The Short-Term Curriculum consists of five consecutive modules. Each module lasts 45 or 90 minutes making it possible to hold two or three modules in one afternoon. Between the first three and the last two modules a break of two weeks is advised to give the participants enough time to create several tasks and trails on their own based on the input from the first three modules. It takes therefore two sessions of around three hours with a break of two weeks between the sessions to complete the whole Short-Term Curriculum.

The aim of the first module is to present the theoretical background and the benefits of outdoor education. After a short introduction to the MathCityMap system in general and presenting the idea behind the two-component system, the teachers run a beforehand prepared math trail in groups in close vicinity to the location of the advanced teacher training. By doing so, they get to know the app from the student’s perspective.

The second and third module focus on the teacher’s perspective, introducing the web portal and its basic functions. A live demonstration of the web portal shows how to create tasks using different answering formats and putting tasks together in a trail. Afterwards, the teachers are supposed to create a task on their own, using a given picture and sample measures in order to get familiar with the web portal. At the end of the second module, working groups and the digital classroom. In a working group it is possible to share tasks and trails with other users.

The third module starts with an explanation of criteria for meaningful tasks, e.g. attendance and activity, meaning that the students should have to be in front of the object or situation the task is about and that they have to engage in a mathematical way by taking the measurement or count some properties. Afterwards, the teachers are asked to go outside, identify an object or a situation fulfilling the described criteria (Jablonski, Ludwig & Zender, 2018) and to collect the necessary data and take a picture. By putting this information in the web portal, the teachers create their own task. Upon completion of the first three modules of the Short-Term Curriculum the teachers are familiar with the MathCityMap system, both from student’s and teacher’s perspective and can therefore use it during their own classes.

During the aforementioned break of around two weeks the teachers should create a whole trail consisting of at least five tasks as a homework before attending the last two modules. After the organization in groups in the fourth module and the assignment of the as a homework prepared trails to each other the teachers run the math trails outside and test the tasks. By assessing and reviewing the tasks of each other, the teachers gain more experience in the creation and evaluation of a task for MathCityMap, improving the overall quality of their own tasks and trails. Based on the feedback from the other participants, the teachers can adapt their tasks and create a final trail.

The fifth and last module introduces the teachers to the MathCityMap review system. To ascertain an according quality, each tasks is being reviewed by a certified reviewer or member of the MathCityMap team.  The teachers are presented with the technical process of reviewing tasks and are asked to assess several sample tasks. Afterwards, the participants receive a feedback based on their review.