The 2005-2007 Period
The training of Math teachers was directly related to the planning and an earlier pilot run of an educational intervention in the teaching of Mathematics for Minority pupils. The intervention involved the production of innovative material for Mathematics that was later used in the after-hours (extended hours) school program at some secondary schools with a significant number of Minority pupils, in the Rhodope and Xanthi prefectures (counties).
According to the theoretical framework this action was built upon, the dominant components of the “mathematical meaning construction process” in the class are:
(a) The pupils (their access to mathematical knowledge is determined by the interaction of the “mathematical content” with their “mathematical thought development procedure”), and
(b) The socio-cultural framework for learning. (The meanings, the thoughts, the thought process are all products of social activity, while the learning process takes place in environments determined by social and cultural parameters).
The goal of this training was to familiarize the teachers with the educational material entitled “Mathematics in an Environment Shaped for Autonomous Learning” and the alternative ways to work with it. The main message to be passed on in these sessions is that it is important to cultivate a positive learning atmosphere in the class, because in such an atmosphere the pupils gradually improve their confidence in themselves and in their abilities, and thus they are encouraged to assume responsibility for their learning. The pupils, can, therefore, work through the mathematics material, especially the activities, with the help of their teacher and their classmates, and in the process develop a clearer, sharper way of thinking. For this purpose, the training meetings with the teachers were focused on the organizing and the management of the work of pupils in the classroom toward the direction described above. More specifically, emphasis was given on the critical reading, planning, production and effective use of mathematical activities/exercises in the classroom.