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Reinventing the teaching of mathematics post-COVID-19

Authors: Marouska Zahra Micallef, ,
  • Institute: Learning Support Unit
  • Symposium: Quality Pedagogy and Effective Learning
  • Day: 2 , Session: 2 , Location: Conference Hall 3
  • Session Type: Medium 15 min (Presentation of ongoing research developments and findings) , Start: 12:50 , End: 13:10

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it many constraints on the teaching of mathematics. Particularly, educators had to switch instantly to online platforms when they had little or no experience of online teaching. Educators were faced with a situation where they needed to relearn ways of teaching mathematics within the constraints imposed by the pandemic. Inspite of the difficulties, this gave rise to innovative ways of teaching mathematics, and provided an opportunity for teachers and students to find new ways of interacting and working together.

The aim of this study is to explore how mathematics lecturers at MCAST embraced this change in teaching, with all its challenges, struggles and opportunites. What type of pedagogy was being used in mathematics education during the COVID-19 pandemic? Khirwadkar et al (2020) observe that switching to online teaching did not involve simply adapting face-to-face pedagogical strategies to a prescribed curriculum, but rather finding other pedagogical strategies while understanding that ‘what is not forbidden is allowed’; this in turn ‘opens a space of opportunities for reimagining mathematics education’ (p.45).

However, this study will also explore the vision of mathematics lecturers for the post-COVID-19 period. What pedagogical lessons were learnt from the experience of teaching during the pandemic? Will these experiences enrich their future mathematics teaching? In their research on online mathematics teaching during the pandemic, Ní Fhloinn and Fitzmaurice (2021) conclude that lecturers ‘have amassed experience, knowledge and resources that will complement their face-to-face teaching moving forward’ (p.15).

Hence, this current study will not only seek to “understand the emerging educational realities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic”, but will also explore the way forward in mathematics teaching at MCAST (Khirwadkar et al, 2020,p.45). Focus will be on the teaching of Mathematics Key Skills at MCAST, and data will be collected by means of semi-structured interviews with a sample of mathematics lecturers. This will be followed by qualitative thematic analysis.

References:

Ní Fhloinn, E. & Fitzmaurice, O. (2021). ‘Challenges and Opportunities: Experiences of Mathematics Lecturers Engaged in Emergency Remote Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic’, Mathematics, 9 (18), pp. 2303.

Khirwadkar, A., Khan, S.I., Mgombelo, J., Snezana, O-R., & Forbes, W.A. (2020). ‘Reimagining Mathematics Education During the Covid-19 Pandemic’. A Journal of Educational Research and Practice, 29 (2), pp.42-46.