MAking MAThEmatics TEAchers MObile
Austrian preparation course for teachers’ mobility
After distributing flyers and announcing the course, both in
schools and in the Faculty of Mathematics, two teacher students and
two in-service-teachers confirmed their interest in taking part in
the course. These low numbers have several reasons: For the teacher
students, this course is completely voluntary and can not be used to
get credits towards their studies. We attempted to include the
course in the regular study program, but “traditional” courses
prevailed. As for the in-service-teachers, they have to do the
course in their spare time (it is rather difficult to get a leave
granted for training activities, particularly if they take place on
several days). Also there is no tradition in Austria in teacher
mobility, both with school teachers (pre- and in-service) and with
university teachers (the Faculty of Mathematics could not even fill
its (rather small) quota for Erasmus exchange students and teachers
this year). We were anyway able to find these dedicated four people
who now participate in the course.
As the course takes place until the end of the summer term 2008,
this report is preliminary and covers both the activities that
already took place and the planned activities.
Part 1 – English for Mathematicians (October 2007 – January
This course was attended also by other students not further
participating in the project but interested in teaching in a foreign
language. This part of the course concentrated on giving a
presentation about a mathematical subject in the English language.
As we plan to send teachers to Denmark, and were not able to find
any Danish-speaking teachers (that are not either studying Danish or
are of Danish descent), it was agreed earlier in the project that
the lessons at the Danish schools will be performed in English. Each
participant could freely choose a subject of their liking (within
mathematics) and talk about this subject in front of his/her peers.
These presentations have been videotaped. In the middle of the
course the videos have been watched and commented on by the
participants. In the second half of the course the participants were
to give another presentation of another mathematical subject, taking
into account the comments of their colleagues and the teachers.
The course took place weekly, conducted by a Language Teacher and a
Mathematics Education Teacher, 10 units, with 45 minutes
presentation time and 45 minutes discussion time.
The idea behind this part was to give the participants a degree of
security in speaking about their subject in English (which none of
them has done before). Comments were very positive; particularly the
video feedback was well received.
Part 2 – Getting ready to teach abroad (March 2008 – June
This course is conducted in a blocked form (four
afternoons/evenings), as it turned out to be easier for the
participants to get leaves four times a semester than every week.
Unit 1 – The project, the Danish schools
Unit 2 –Theorem of Pythagoras, Classroom language
In this unit, the participants got introduced into the Danish school
system, and also got a concrete description of the host school
(geography, structure, school culture etc.).
Organisation details have been clarified.
The two selected topics (equivalence of fractions and theorem of
Pythagoras) have been introduced.
Unit 3 – Equality of fractions, special vocabulary
Using several materials, the participants developed a teaching unit
for the given topic.
The “classroom language” file of Birgith and the “Conducting a
lesson in English” file of Marie have been discussed. Useful
phrases have been selected for translation.
Unit 4 – Test teaching
Using several materials, the participants will develop a teaching
unit for the given topic.
Vocabulary particular for the two topics will be introduced and
discussed, using the book “Mathematisches Fachwörterbuch”.
The participating students and teachers will “test conduct”
parts of the lessons.
Discussion about the tested units
Clarification of final details