Thinking Through Mathematics (TTM) is part of a larger three-year project called Maths4Life, which aims to stimulate a positive approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics in the Skills for Life (SfL) sector. TTM builds on many years of research in the FE sector, and draws on the work of an earlier project commissioned by the DfES Standards Unit in 2005, Improving Learning in Mathematics. TTM is a design-based research project that attempts to transform educational practices in numeracy/mathematics classrooms within the SfL sector by helping teachers to develop more ‘connected’ and ‘challenging’ teaching methods that enable learners to develop more active orientations towards their learning. The focus of the research is to study the feasibility and potential impact of these teaching and learning approaches.
In particular, the project examines the interpretations that teachers have of the underlying principles, the different obstacles they face as they try to implement them, what happens in their classrooms, and the resulting impact on their beliefs and practices. This leads us to consider the lessons that may be learned for the future design of professional development.