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Teaching and Learning Mathematics through Problem Solving (Secondary)

Target Audience: Secondary Math Teachers
Course Leader: Professor David Burghes
Canceled due to protests in Bangkok
8.30 - 16.00
Venue: Professional Training Service, Q House Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand

 workshop enables participants to focus on the use of problem solving as an important teaching and learning strategy for mathematics.

The emphasis is placed on challenging learners with tasks, activities and contexts that refer to skills and knowledge just beyond their current level of mastery so that they construct new mathematical ideas for themselves through ‘guided re-invention’ as well reinforcement of previous concepts.

It will also consider the use of contexts to motivate learners who are becoming disaffected with mathematical study in early secondary years.


    The emphasis in the present day math class has shifted from teaching problem solving to teaching via problem solving. The focus of a problem solving approach is on teaching mathematical topics through problem-solving contexts and enquiry-oriented environments. Specific characteristics of a problem-solving approach include:
  • Interactions between students/students and teacher/students 
  • Mathematical dialogue and consensus between students 
  • Teachers providing just enough information to establish background/intent of the problem, and students clarifing, interpreting, and attempting to construct one or more solution processes 
  • Teachers accepting right/wrong answers in a non-evaluative way 
  • Teachers guiding, coaching, asking insightful questions and sharing in the process of solving problems 
  • Teachers knowing when it is appropriate to intervene, and when to step back and let the pupils make their own way 
  • A further characteristic is that a problem-solving approach can be used to encourage students to make generalisations about rules and concepts, a process which is central to mathematics
(The above has been extracted from an article in http://www.mathgoodies.com/articles/problem_solving.html)

Workshop Facilitator

Professor David Burghes has a consistent and outstanding record of developing international partnerships with University of Plymouth to deliver innovative programmes to enhance Maths teaching across the globe. David's work as Director of the Centre for Innovation in Maths Teaching (CiMT) has created an international reputation for the University of Plymouth in providing the highest quality professional development for maths teachers.

 David is Director of three international longitudinal comparative projects, "Kassel Project", "International Project for Mathematical Attainment (IPMA)" and "International Comparative Study in Mathematics Teacher Training". David has also implemented projects for Primary Mathematics in Chile (in 11 schools in a country area with low achievement in mathematics) and in South Africa (in 3 township schools in the Potchefstroom region) both of which have shown promising gains in raising standards and have linked Plymouth with local Universities, namely University of Valparaiso and North West University.  

This workshop will be hands-on with participants trying out a variety of mathematical problem solving questions, reflecting on practice from mathematically high performing countries, discussing video clips and analyzing different aspects of problem solving.

Course Aim
The course aims to give participants confidence in their own ability to use a problem solving approach to the teaching and learning of secondary mathematics.

Course Objectives
  • Challenge participants’ understanding of what constitutes ‘great instruction’ in mathematics teaching by considering international evidence from mathematically high-performing countries such as Japan, Finland, Russia and Hungary
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the nature of teaching through problem solving by looking, in particular, at recent innovations in countries such as Singapore
  • Identify ways of improving professional and educational practice in the teaching of mathematics by jointly planning and teaching a problem-based lesson using lesson study to sustain the innovation
  • Demonstrate enquiry, insight and analytical capability with regard to their own professional practice and that of colleagues in the pursuit of more effective teaching and learning of mathematics

Topics Covered
  1. International evidence of what makes great instruction in secondary mathematics
  2. Understanding the Singapore problem solving approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics
  3. Effective methods of implementation of problem solving in secondary maths teaching
  4. Sustaining a problem solving approach to teaching and learning of mathematics through lesson study
  5. Reviewing and evaluating progress towards more effective teaching of mathematics in secondary schools
  6. Development of learners’ transferable skills in mathematics

Workshop Fee 
Baht 17,500 per participant
The workshop fee is inclusive of certificate, materials, lunch and coffee breaks.

To Register
Step 1:  Fill out the Workshop Reservation Form (Below)
Step 2:  Our office will send you/your coordinating staff the invoice  upon receipt of the form.
Step 3:  You/your coordinating staff will submit the Payment Completion Form

School-Group Participation
If you wish to enroll a group of 10 or more teachers from your school, contact Mr. Navin Pawa with your request as per the contact information below.

Contact Information
Workshop Coordinator: Mr. Navin Pawa
Phone (Thailand): 081 701 6843; 081 846 5770 (replace '0' with '66' for international calls)

Workshop Reservation Form