A total of 389 teachers joined in the Summer Courses for Mathematics Education provided by the Professional Development Unit of the Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM) in conjunction with the Center for Advanced Research in Education (CIAE) and the Activating Resolution Problems in the Classroom (ARPA) Initiative at Universidad de Chile.
Besides, 18 courses were taught. The previous year, 159 teachers attended eight courses. Both figures were widely overpassed in 2017.
In addition to the programs related to mathematical education such as Problem Solving, Numbers and Operations through Problem Solving, Problem Solving and Arithmetic, and Problem Solving in Data and Chance, the organization added two innovations: the Problem Solving Of Writing Course and the Geology for Teachers of Basic and Average course.
Teachers from 13 regions returned to sit at a desk to learn new ways to deal with real-life cases that students can live in classrooms.
“Previously, I thought math was just calculating and not understanding why I do what I do, why they are useful for life. This new vision allows me to propose the concepts in a different way,” said Paulina Álvarez, Math teacher at New Heaven High School in Antofagasta and student of Problem Solving in Data and Chance for levels 3 to 4 of primary school.
For CMM and CIAE researcher and ARPA director Patricio Felmer, these courses allow teachers to understand the new challenges of mathematical teaching in school: “Some years ago, problems were incorporated. Problem-solving was put at the center of the school curriculum. Not something that is done in an attached form. It’s the center of mathematics!”
Paula González, the monitor of Problem-solving for Kindergarten and 1st-grade course, stated, “Our education is taking on new airs and new methodologies”.
Teachers such as Ricardo Olavarría, from the Pioneros del Sur School in Villa O’Higgins, in the Aisén Region, assessed the methods used by the organizers: “Compared with other courses, I emphasize the active participation of us, teachers, in the development of activities. This allowed us to live in real time the new ARPA proposal.”
Others reveal that they have lived a fundamental change with these courses. Susana Cortés, a student of Problem Solving of Writing from 2nd to 8th grade course and psycho pedagogue at Liceo Polivalente A119 in Talagante, recalled: “I understood that as a teacher, I had to deconstruct the way I thought. But after knowing and advancing in the knowledge of ARPA writing, I overcame the fear and felt the complacency of experiencing proficient knowledge.”
Now, the challenge for teachers is at classroom. However, they already have several tools, explained Olavarría: “The course was excellent. I learned a new working methodology for problem solving, from planning to execute the teaching strategy and I commit to putting it into practice with my students.”