The Department-wide Approach in a nutshell ...

The Department-wide Approach has four components:

  1. The long-term online PD (Teaching for Mathematical Understanding and Agency: International Schools) contains pedagogical guidance, ideas, strategies, implementation requirements, and many opportunities to reflect and share.
  2. Classroom implementations create change in teachers. Teachers implement multiple strategies throughout the year.  
  3. The Head of Mathematics (or other Leader) assumes the on-site leadership role (high impact with minimal time requirement). As the 'guide on the side' within the PD, the leader’s ability to impact pedagogical change in teachers increases markedly. 
  4. Collegiality: In the Department-wide Approach, pedagogical discussions occur spontaneously between teachers. Time is also set aside in meetings for teachers to share their wins and challenges. Implementing common pedagogical ideas is ideal for building collegiality within a mathematics department.  


The Department-wide Approach Explained (4 min)

What is the on-site role of the Team Leader?

The Team Leader role requires some time input. However, being the Team Leader of a Department-wide PD is much less arduous and time-consuming than attempting to bring about pedagogical change on your own!

The Team Leader:

  • Participates in the PD with the teachers.
  • Regularly references the PD
  • As the 'Guide On The Side', is transparent when sharing with their teachers. 
  • Fosters discussion with and between teachers, both informally and during meetings; offers support and encouragement to teachers.
  • Occasionally liaises with the course facilitator via email, Zoom or WhatsApp.
  • May decide - in agreement with the teachers and facilitator - to prioritise specific implementations from the PD.
  • Encourages multiple implementations of multiple strategies throughout the PD.
  • Organises time in meetings for teachers to share their implementation experiences. 
  • Gains approval from teachers for a Minimum Progress Agreement; checks on teachers' progress during the PD.  

But we are more than one school

Further applications of the Department-wide Approach

The Department-wide Mathematics PD Approach is ideal for a 'Community of Schools'. For example, a school brand may want all their schools' mathematics departments to undertake a PD together - as a community. The setup would look something like this:

  • Each Department Head would become a Team Leader for the PD.
  • One or more consultants from the school brand could be heavily involved, for example, coordinating one or more summative PD days with all departments (or clusters of departments).

In this way, the school brand 'adopts' the PD 'as their own'. Furthermore, the school brand may request Learn Implement Share to create a bespoke PD to be run using the Dept-wide Approach.

A slight variation on the above is that a consultant employed by an education body may partner with us by becoming the main facilitator of one of our PDs for their teachers.

There are many possibilities, some of which will only become apparent through discussion. So come and talk to us.

Getting Started With The Department-wide Approach

Is the Department-wide Approach a good fit for your school? 

To find out, read this page, and watch the video above. Then book a 30-minute Zoom chat with Richard.

The Department-wide Approach is flexible. Therefore, to proceed, we decide what will work best for your situation:

  • We choose the start date and the duration (at least 12 months).
  • We determine the on-site leader (usually the Mathematics Department Head). 
  • We decide the number of participants. Usually, this is the whole department. However, sometimes the most willing teachers commence first, the remainder joining 6+ months later, having become intrigued by the rich pedagogical discussions of the first cohort.
  • We decide how teachers will progress through the online content. Schools may allocate some in-school time. Typically, however, teachers move through the content individually.

Why it is difficult to bring about pedagogical change in teachers:
Teachers need to leave the security of the 'paddock' and experience 'the prairie' for a few months!

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Online PD Specifics

Teaching for Mathematical Understanding and Agency: International Schools

We hope to see you and your teachers inside a Dept-wide PD soon!

Department-wide Mathematics PD