An innovative Scitech program is helping change the way our students think about mathematics.
Lighthouse Maths is Scitech’s flagship professional learning program, with 32 primary school teachers trained each year to deliver more impactful and engaging maths lessons.
The program is a reasoning and problem-solving-based approach that enables students to develop an understanding of how they reached a solution rather than learn a method.
Teachers become experts in the approach and can then go on to train other staff in their school. Participants can also apply for a position working one day a week as a Lighthouse Coach for the following year’s program.
Brookman Primary School’s Teegan Parry took part in 2021 as a Year 3 teacher and went on to become a Lighthouse Coach.
As well as passing on her knowledge to her colleagues, she works with eight other schools, ranging in location from the Wheatbelt to metropolitan area.
Ms Parry is a huge advocate for the program.
“It’s helped my students remove their maths anxiety and transformed my mathematical questioning, in moving students' thinking forwards – the why, how, show me, are you sure and prove it to me,” Ms Parry said.
“Problem solving is heavily embedded all throughout the mathematics curriculum and can be hard to teach. The program helps give you and your students the skills to conquer this challenging area in maths.”
Program Coordinator Shyam Drury created Lighthouse Maths in 2018, seeking advice and mentoring from maths education academics across Australia. This led to Powerful Problem Solving, a synthesis of best practice approaches to maths teaching, based on developing conceptual understanding, collaborative problem solving, and reasoning abilities in students.
After working with eight teachers each year intensively, and continually implementing and refining the approach, Mr Drury developed the learning modules and launched Lighthouse Maths with Scitech in 2021. Since its launch, the program has engaged about 100 teachers and 3000 students across 50 schools.