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MAS3092 : Global Education in Mathematics and Statistics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Lee Fawcett
  • Lecturer: Dr Joe Matthews, Dr Nicola Hewett
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 50 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


In this module we aim to build on teaching skills students have already acquired by considering mathematics and statistics education in a global context. How is our subject taught differently in different global settings? Are pedagogic issues in mathematics and statistics education the same everywhere in the world? If not, have region-specific teaching practices been developed for effective mathematics and statistics education? How might we effectively address the gaps and biases introduced by geographic or racial inequality in mathematics and statistics education? How has the way we teach our subject changed since the pandemic? How has the way we conduct research with international collaborators changed? Through global case studies, we aim to answer such questions.

Students taking the module will have the opportunity to (i) experience mathematics and statistics education in an international classroom through our overseas high school partnerships, or (ii) undertake an international research project in mathematics or statistics through our short-term research internship programme with our overseas higher education partners. Students will also be introduced to Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) methodologies, considering COIL and Virtual Exchange (VE) as sustainable alternatives to traditional modes of international learning in mathematics and statistics; a substantial VE opportunity will be available to students as an alternative to (i) or (ii) above, should they not be able to physically travel.

An over-arching aim of the module, through the experiences offered, is to develop students’ global citizenship and inter-cultural competencies.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Case studies in international mathematics and statistics education and research, including pedagogic issues and associated teaching practices (for example, “Mathematics Anxiety”) and post-pandemic changes in the communication of mathematics and statistics (for example, technological innovations)
2.       Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) methodologies and Virtual Exchange (VE) in mathematics and statistics; students will undertake one mini VE project with one of our overseas higher education partners, to experience VE first-hand
3.       Students will undertake a more substantial placement opportunity, choosing from (subject to availability):
(i)       Teaching placement in an international classroom through our overseas high school partnerships, or
(ii)       Research internship placement through our overseas higher education partnerships, or
(iii)       Substantial VE project with one of our overseas higher education partners
4.       In the context of teaching or communicating ideas in mathematics and statistics, through their placement opportunity students will consider appropriate tasks for learning; assessment issues; appropriate digital and online platforms; problem solving and investigation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture71:007:00Intro; case studies; Virtual Exchange; placement prep.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion281:0028:00Mini Virtual Exchange; case studies; placement; open badge
Placement/Study AbroadStudy Abroad401:0040:00Around 40% of module time
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading71:007:00Case studies
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion61:006:00Mini Virtual Exchange
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity121:0012:00Mini Virtual Exchange; final reflection for open badge
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Four of the lectures have a very practical purpose: To introduce students to the module; to prepare students for their placement choice; and to assist students, post-placement, with the assessment of the module (especially the requirements for the substantial (70%) placement portfolio). The other lectures will be used to hold structured discussions relating to case studies about global teaching practice in mathematics and statistics and to teach the material related to COIL/VE pedagogy.

Given the nature of the module, there is a substantial focus on the placement (40 student hours). Although students won’t necessarily spend 40 hours taking part in active placement duties (e.g. teaching, conducting research or taking part in virtual exchange activities), there will be a significant amount of organisation involved in all of the placement options that will support the development of students’ core skills of planning/organising/problem-solving, as well as communication skills, teamwork skills and relevant functional/technical skills. All placement opportunities will also support students’ development of inter-cultural competencies. And naturally, all placement opportunities will give students hands-on experience of an international teaching or research opportunity in mathematics and statistics, giving them an understanding of how to effectively prepare and assess mathematics or statistics lessons in a non-UK classroom or undertake a mathematics or statistics project with international collaborators.

There is a significant proportion of guided independent study and structured guided learning, which is important if students are to develop their critical thinking skills (for example, when comparing and contrasting teaching case studies from different global contexts). The guided independent study is also important to give students time to reflect on various aspects of the module, including an overall final reflection piece necessary for the open badge in global and cultural awareness.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study2M10Case study report; around 750 words
Reflective log2M10Mini VE quiz and reflective log – video upload
Reflective log2M10Open badge in Global and Cultural Awareness: Reflective log, around 750 words
Portfolio2M70Placement portfolio, including observation of professional practice for the teaching placement and the research internship placement
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Given the very practical nature of the module, a traditional timed examination is not appropriate. Rather, 100% coursework gives students time to carefully consider the source material for the international case study elements of the module, and time to reflect on their participation in the mini VE project and – crucially – their substantial placement. All coursework components are ideal for assessing students’ development of the module’s intended knowledge and skills outcomes, as described earlier.

The case study report will be used to assess students’ critical thinking skills, and their appreciation for geographic differences in the way issues in mathematics and statistics education are addressed.

The mini VE quiz and associated reflective log will be used to assess students’ core knowledge of VE, as well as their appreciation/critical evaluation of VE (using their own experience of taking part in the mini VE to frame their discussion).

The exact requirements of the placement portfolio will depend on the placement choice of the student. For example, a portfolio for students opting for the international teaching experience will consist of a log/diary entries to evidence their experiences throughout the placement; this portfolio will also include statements from their teaching supervisor from the school in which they have been placed, and a reflective piece on their teaching experience and how it might support their learning from the case studies considered in the module. Students opting for the research internship placement will submit a project report from their placement experience including technical content, results etc.; this portfolio will also include a statement from their academic supervisor and a reflective piece on their research experience. Similarly, students taking part in the substantial VE project would submit a project report from their experience, but also statements from an academic facilitating the VE project, and their peers; and, similarly, a reflective piece on their experience.

The assessment for the university’s Open Badge in Global and Cultural Awareness is already established and used by the university’s Global Opportunities team to award a digital badge to students who can evidence a significant global experience and their inter-cultural development. This requires students to complete a short Canvas course and write a final reflective piece (for this module using their experiences from the module overall).

Reading Lists