INTRODUCTION TO EDUCATE AND ITS OBJECTIVES

Dear Readers,

On behalf of all the members of the European ERASMUS+ project entitled, “Enhancing Differentiated Instruction and Cognitive Activation in Mathematics Lessons by Supporting Teacher Learning (EDUCATE)”, I would like to welcome you to our project’s educational materials for teachers.

Sponsored by the ERASMUS+ programme of the European Union, the transnational project EDUCATE aims at integrating cognitive activation (i.e., working with challenging tasks) and differentiation, aspiring to promote both aspects in the subject of Mathematics, through the provision of appropriate support to teachers and teacher educators. Specifically, we have created these materials with the intention of supporting teachers in engaging all their students in challenging work on the one hand and scaffolding teacher educators in productively supporting teachers in doing so on the other hand.

Partners from four European countries, namely Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, and Portugal have worked closely together to develop, pilot test, and refine these materials, as well as design a professional development process around them.  Before producing these materials, a thorough review of the current literature and European/International and national documents in the four participated countries (i.e., top-down approach) was conducted; a needs-assessment analysis to identify prospective and practicing teachers’ needs, challenges, and difficulties as they enact challenging tasks with all their students that cut across different European educational systems was also conducted by observing/analyzing a series of lessons in the four participating countries; reflective post-lesson discussions were also conducted with teachers (i.e., bottom-up approach). Moreover, we have solicited practicing teachers and school inspectors’ feedback on the clarity of the modules, their reasonableness, applicability, and usefulness, in order to improve them.

The project in general, and the production of these materials, in particular, could not have taken place without the support of the teachers who volunteered to participate in the different phases of the project, whom we would like to thank for opening their classrooms and letting us explore their practice and think with them about the complexities inherent in working with challenging tasks with all students.

We would like to invite you to implement these materials either individually or in the context of video-club settings. Should you have any questions about the project or if you have any feedback for its rationale, activities, and publications, please visit our portal http://www.ucy.ac.cy/educate/en/ and explore it to get more information about the progress of the project and its outcomes. You could also directly contact the local coordinators from each partner country:

  • University of Cyprus (Cyprus, Dr. Charalambos Y. Charalambous, cycharal@ucy.ac.cy)
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece, Professor Despina Potari, dpotari@math.uoa.gr)
  • Marino Institute of Education (Ireland, Dr. Seán Delaney, delaney@mie.ie)
  • Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal, Professor João Pedro da Ponte, jpponte@ie.ulisboa.pt)

On Behalf of the EDUCATE Project members,

The Project Coordinator,

Dr. Charalambos Y. Charalambous

Assistant Professor of Educational Research and Evaluation

Department of Education, University of Cyprus

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