Module code: MAT3017

Module provider


Module Leader

DUNLOP C Dr (Maths)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 1

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework WRITTEN REPORT 20%
Coursework ESSAY 30%

Alternative Assessment

The Individual presentation would, where necessary, be replaced by the submission of a detailed lesson plan together with a rationale for its creation and delivery.  The Placement assessment and/or the Final report would be replaced by a coursework assignment of the module convenor’s choice.   The weightings for these alternative assessments remain the same.

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

There are no prerequisites, but there are only a limited number of places available. Students will be selected by an interview process that will take place for towards the end of Semester 2 of the preceding academic year.  This module cannot be taken together with the BSc Mathematics Project (MAT3019), or the Literature Review (MAT3018/MAT3036). This module is NOT available to those who have done teacher training; nor is it available to students who are part of an exchange programme.

Module overview

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to aspects of mathematical education through practical classroom experience in a local school and to reflect on this through a coursework assignment, the preparation of a special project related to their placement, and a final report.

Module aims

provide an opportunity for final-year students to gain first hand experience of mathematics education through a mentoring scheme with mathematics teachers in local secondary schools.   Typically, each student will work with a range of classes for half a day every week for 10 weeks. The classes may vary from Year 7 to Year 12.

enable students to reflect on their experiences in school through coursework assignment and report writing.

give students a range of responsibilities, from classroom assistant to the organisation and teaching of a self-originated special project. Only a limited number of places are available and students will be selected on the basis of their commitment and suitability for working in schools.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Understand the key roles of a class teacher in terms of preparation and delivery of teaching materials,  pupil management and in dealing with teaching colleagues KCT
Communicate mathematical ideas and practical skills to pupils in the classroom, both on a one-to-one basis as well as to a larger audience as appropriate KCT
Plan, research and deliver an educational activity based on the needs of the school, and to communicate the results of this activity to their peers KCPT
Plan,  research, write and correctly reference an extended essay on a topic related to mathematics education KCPT
Reflect constructively on their experience in the classroom and on the feedback  they receive from pupils and teachers alike CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Training and basic skills The students will be given an initial introduction to relevant elements of the National Science Curriculum and its associated terminology, (eg 'Key Stage 3' etc.). They will receive a half day of basic training in working with children and conduct in the school environment, and will be given a chance to visit the school they will be working in before commencement of the module.
Classroom observation and assistance Initial contact with the teacher and pupils will be as a classroom assistant, watching how the teacher handles the class, observing the level of mathematics taught and the structure of the lesson, and offering practical support to the teacher in lesson preparation or administrative work.
Teaching assistance The teacher will assign the student actual teaching tasks, which will be dependent on specific needs. This could include offering problem-solving coaching to a smaller group of pupils, or taking the last ten minutes of the lesson for the whole class.
Extra-curricular activities The student may be supervised by the teacher in running an out-of-timetable activity (if appropriate), such as an after-school maths club or special coaching periods for higher ability students.
Special project Following discussion with the teacher as to what would be appropriate, each student will devise a special project that will interest or be of use to the particular pupils they are working with, be it as part of a maths club or part of the day-to-day teaching of mathematics. The student will have to show that they can analyse a specific teaching problem and devise and prepare appropriately targeted teaching materials and basic tests.
Written report The students will be required to keep a journal of their progress in working in the classroom environment and to write a critical report of between  1000 and 1500  words based on this journal. The special project materials will also be submitted, some of which may be written.
Mathematics education essay The students will also be expected to undertake background reading and write a carefully-argued extended essay (2-3000 words) related to the learning and teaching of mathematics. This will be supervised by the Departmental Contact. A title should be agreed between the student and the Departmental Contact before the Easter break in Semester 2. For example, past essays have considered:

Does the use of IT and the internet in the classroom aid the learning of mathematics?
Attitudes to mathematics and how they can be improved.
A critical analysis of ‘written methods’ used in the National Curriculum to teach basic numeracy skills.
How should calculators be used in mathematics education?

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide an introduction to and practical experience of the roles and responsibilities of a secondary school mathematics teacher.
Enable students to independently research and reflect on wider topics in mathematics education, and to give practice at communicating their ideas to teachers, pupils and peers.

The learning and teaching methods include:

1  x  4 hour Practical training before going in to the placement school.
10 x weekly placement school visits of approximately 3 hours.
2 x 1 hour Workshops on research, referencing and essay writing.
Meetings as appropriate with the departmental contact to agree an essay title and to give practical guidance on the special project and presentation.


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

·         Understanding of the role of a secondary school mathematics teacher  

·         Subject knowledge through the coursework assignment and report

·         Communication and teaching skills through the individual presentation and through classroom experience



Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         A short written report (worth 25%, of between 1000 and 1500 words; typically due towards the end of Semester 2)

·         An extended essay on a topic in mathematics education  (worth 25%,  of between 2000 and 3000 words; deadline is typically after the Easter break in Semester 2)

·         An individual presentation describing a special project undertaken at the placement school  (worth 30%; due typically towards the end of Semester 2)

·         A placement assessment provided by the supervising teacher at the host school and moderated by the module convenor and one other academic (worth 20%) 



Formative assessment and feedback


Students receive formative feedback on a continual basis from their host school supervising teacher.   In addition,  formative feedback and guidance is available on the essay,  report and presentation  from  the module convenor at a weekly office hour, or by appointment as necessary.

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.