Blended courses and growth mindset to strengthen math teaching

teacher learning on an hybrid course

The study states that, if teachers take blended courses based on innovative strategies, and are clear that math can be studied by everyone, then they are better prepared to teach.

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Myths and misinformation undermine the teaching of math. How many times have we not heard phrases like "math class is tough" or "some people have math minds." There are many examples of falsehoods like these.

A recent study states that blended learning supported by a growth mindset is an outstanding strategy for preparing math teachers. In addition, this practice seems to be effective in eradicating false assumptions around this matter.

In this experimental program, the focus of the study were teachers, rather than students. Academics from Stanford University analyzed the performance of 40 fifth-grade teachers from eight US districts who participated in a professional development program based on promoting a growth mindset and a blended learning approach to math instruction. The result was positive.

Blended teacher training

The educational program comprised an online teaching math course through Stanford OpenEdX, with an emphasis on research-based mathematics; teachers were encouraged to analyze math problems using multiple strategies to solve them.

Also, teachers participated in regular face-to-face meetings with instructional leaders to analyze the adoption of new teaching practices, in addition to monthly interviews with coaches to change the mentality regarding the difficulty of math for teachers and students.

Students whose teachers participated in this program scored higher on math. The thesis of the study established that, if the professors receive blended education training based on innovative strategies, and believe that math is a subject that can be understood by everyone and not only “math minds,” then they will be able to teach more effectively.

Educational institutions have the challenge of generating effective and innovative teacher training. The key to educational success lies mainly on teachers. Without teacher support for instruction, it will be complicated to generate positive educational outcomes.