Didactics of Mathematics and Computer Science




НазваниеDidactics of Mathematics and Computer Science
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Practical implementation of the programme


Acquisition of the study programme is organised in the form of lectures, seminars, practical classes, teaching practice, of independent work and during consultations with scientific supervisors of the paper. Also interactive methods of studies are practised: projects, group work, creative seminars, discussion methods, case analysis.

Implementation of each course of the Master’s study programme envisages integration of knowledge, skills and abilities, succession of the courses and their relation to writing the Master’s paper. Practical verification of the theoretical ideas of the Master’s paper is planned for the period of the pedagogical practice. Students’ research work finds its reflection in their reports and independent assignments, but, as the studies go on, it will manifest itself in implementation of some tasks during their pedagogical practices, as well as in the Master’s papers they have written and defended.

During their study process students make use of the Internet, literary resources, periodicals, databases, catalogues of the LAP library and the services of the computer reading room, the possibilities offered by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Regional LAP Distance Learning Centre and MT&DPP laboratory (computers, overhead and video projectors etc.). For providing the study process available for students’ use in the LAP there are 65 IBM PC type computers, 7 computers in the library reading room and 12 computers in the free-access classroom.

For ensuring separate study courses (for example, for studies of the course “Project Management”) also e-study methods are used. For this purpose the virtual study environment Blackboard is used.

In order to facilitate and develop students’ independent work, it would be useful, if possible, to introduce e-study elements into all study disciplines, as well as “to go deeper”, by including e-study elements, not practised during the study process earlier.

The academic staff ensuring acquisition of particular study courses has been chosen according to both formal education indices and the fields of their scientific activity and its content. Integration of the research of the academic staff members into the study process manifests itself as introduction of the research methods and conclusions reflected in their scientific-methodological publications into practice, i.e., offering to students corresponding themes for Master’s papers and acquainting Master students with the application of these research methods in writing their papers. Individual contribution of the members of the teaching staff to research can be found in the LAP “Review of the Research Work at the Liepāja Academy of Pedagogy” for the year 2005 and 2006. Integration of the research of the academic staff can be found mainly in the form of new study materials, tasks for the practice and study projects.

Student involvement into research projects has not started as yet. Of course, we can talk about projects investigating topical issues of didactics of mathematics or computer science. It should be noted that these branches get little support in the competition for grants of the Science Council of Latvia, but in the field of research projects on didactics of mathematics and computer science there are no other customers in Latvia. The study programme has only first-year students, who have mastered only the very basis of the branch. Second and third-year student involvement into research projects is a matter to be solved in the future.


  1. Prospective assessment of the programme

6.1. Compliance with the standard of academic and professional education, as well as with the professional standard


Characteristics of the compliance of the compulsory content of the Master’s study programme with the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No.481 “On the Second Level Professional Higher Education Standard” is given in table 1.

Table 1

Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers require

Master’s study programme ensures

Total length of studies for obtaining a Professional Master’s s degree is at least 5 years

Total length of studies is at least 5.5 years, i.e., 3 years in the Bachelor’s programme and 2.5 years in the Master’s programme

Minimal value of the Master’s study programme is 40 credit points

The value is 100 credit points

For acquisition of the latest achievements in the theory and practice of the branch at least 7 credit points are needed

There are 8 credit points. They are part of such courses as:
e-studies didactics; topical issues of pedagogy; pedagogical technologies; designing learning software

For study courses in research, creative work, designing and management at least 5 credit points are needed

There are 7 credit points. They are part of such courses as:
project management, annual project, modern information technologies in education

For study courses in pedagogy and psychology at least 2 credit points are needed

There are 24 credit points. They are part of such courses as: general pedagogy, didactics, upbringing theory, pedagogical technologies, methodology of educational research and data processing, environmental and health education, general psychology, developmental psychology, pedagogical psychology, communication psychology

For practice at least 6 credit points are needed

There are 26 credit points. Tasks for the qualification practice include additional requirements for doing research activities – both from quantitative and qualitative aspects - to study motivation of pupils from one class for learning mathematics and computer science, pupils’ general intellectual and mathematical abilities

For the final examination at least 20 credit points are needed

There are 22 credit points:

2 credit points for the Master’s examination;

20 credit points for the Master’s paper


As Bachelor’s of Mathematics and Computer Science, but not having second level higher professional education, are enrolled in the Master’s study programme, the programme is aimed at obtaining the qualification of a Mathematics or Computer Science teacher. The total value of the courses for obtaining the qualification is 50 credit points. Writing of a separate diploma paper with the value of 10 credit points is not envisaged, in the list of requirements for the quality of professional Master’s paper there are integrated also requirements aimed at the need to confirm own professional qualification.

The study courses involved in the study programme are a guarantee for acquisition of the knowledge (and, naturally, the skills, abilities, attitudes and experience of creative activity confirmed by the order of the Ministry of Education and Science on 27 February 2004 No.116). Compliance of the study programme with the Professional Standard can be seen in table 2.

Table 2

Knowledge

(according the professional standard “Skolotājs”)

Study courses

Documents regulating the functioning of secondary education system and the teacher’s work and labour law

General pedagogy

Didactics

Theory of Upbringing

Child’s rights protection

General pedagogy

Pedagogy and psychology

  • Theory and methodology of learning and teaching

  • Upbringing activities or class management

  • Organisation of teaching/learning (methods of teaching/learning, a lesson, syllabus)

  • Assessment of the achievement and self-assessment

  • Organisation of the learning environment

  • Promoting communication and cooperation (formation of social relationships)

  • Methods of pedagogical research

  • Psychology (general, developmental, personality, social)

  • Special needs pedagogy

  • Pedagogy of different branches

General pedagogy

Didactics

Theory of upbringing

Pedagogical technologies

Methodology of educational research and data processing

General psychology

Developmental psychology

Pedagogical psychology

Communication psychology

Physiology at different life stages

Environmental and health education

In the field of science corresponding to the study discipline

  • Study subject

  • Didactics of the study subject

  • Basic principles of integrating the study subject

Scientific fundamentals of the school mathematics (or computer studies) course

Methods of teaching mathematics

Methods of teaching computer science

Practical training in solving problems for contests in mathematics

Practical training in solving tasks for contests in computer science

Organisation of the teaching/learning environment in computer science

Languages and communication

  • Information technologies

  • State language and foreign languages

  • Communication psychology

Modern information technologies in education

Designing teaching/learning software Annual project

Communication psychology

Designing teaching/learning aids

E-studies didactics

Social sciences:

  • Philosophy, ethics

  • Educational management

  • Logic

  • History of culture




Philosophy

Methodology of educational research and data processing

Logic is a compulsory study discipline of the Bachelor’s study programme covered before

Social sciences

  • History

  • Philosophy

  • Basic knowledge of economics

  • Environmental and health education

Basic knowledge of economics

Project management

Environmental and health education.

Healthy lifestyle

  • Sports

  • Healthy food

  • Personal hygiene

  • Prevention of addictions

Environmental and health education


During the time when we were working at the self-assessment report there appeared “Changes in the 20 March 2001 Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 141 “Regulations of the Second Level Professional Higher Education Standard” (confirmed 29.05.2007). It created a need for reviewing the content of the study programme in order to find out whether there is nothing contradictory to these changes, and, in case of need, to introduce the required changes.

In Latvia secondary school teachers in mathematics and computer science are also trained in the University of Latvia and Daugavpils University. The study programmes offered by these educational establishments provide acquisition of qualification of a Mathematics and Computer Science teacher without awarding the professional Master’s degree. Up to now no other higher education establishment of Latvia offers acquisition of the professional Master’s degree in didactics.

Department of Physics and Mathematics of the University of Latvia implements two second level higher professional education study programmes for obtaining the qualification of a secondary school Mathematics teacher. The duration of one of the programmes is five years; it ensures acquisition of the teacher’s profession to secondary school graduates. The length of the other study programme is a year and a half, it provides acquisition of a teacher’s profession for graduates of the Bachelor’s of Mathematics or a related second level higher professional education study programme. When comparing the study programme presented for accreditation, the year-and-a-half study programme of the University of Latvia has allotted smaller value to courses in pedagogy and psychology, thus increasing the value of the courses of mathematics and methods of its teaching. We have come to the same conclusions through comparison of the study programmes for acquiring the qualification of the computer science teacher of the LAP and the University of Latvia. The University of Latvia study programme admits graduates of Bachelor’s of Computer Sciences or related second level higher professional education study programme and the profession can be obtained within a period of 1.5 years. Master’s studies at the University of Latvia provide acquisition of the academic degree of Natural Sciences in Mathematics or Computer Sciences.

Daugavpils University implements a second level higher professional education study programme “A Secondary School Teacher”, where one of the professions to be acquired is “A Teacher of Mathematics or Computer Science”. Graduates from the Bachelor’s or higher professional education study programme are admitted to the study programme. Duration of studies – 2 years. The structure and the content of the programme are similar to that part of the LAP study programme, which provides obtaining a qualification. Part A of the Master's study programme “Pedagogy”, which provides acquisition of a Master’s degree of Education in Pedagogy, is similar to the LAP professional Master’s study programme. Daugavpils University study programme includes additional courses “Holistic pedagogy” and “Education philosophy”.

After comparison of the LAP study programme with the study programmes of other higher educational establishments a conclusion was made that the closest as to its structure and content are the Master’s study programmes “A Teacher of Mathematics” and “A Teacher of Computer Science, a Computer Specialist” implemented at Tallinn University (Estonia). As to their structure and content both study programmes are similar, only courses providing specific knowledge and skills in the field differ. Duration of both study programmes is two years, and they provide acquisition of the Master’s degree of Pedagogy in Didactics of Mathematics or Computer Science. When comparing them with the LAP professional Master’s study programme, we can see that the study programmes of Tallinn University (TU) have a smaller ratio of courses in pedagogy and psychology, higher value is allotted to the courses in subjects or methods of their teaching. The TU study programme ”A Teacher of Mathematics” comprises several mathematics courses, which the LAP students study as part of their Bachelor’s of Mathematics programme. In their turn, the value allotted to design and usage of multimedia systems in the TU study programme” A Teacher of Computer Science, a Computer Specialist” is comparatively big.

Berlin Technical University (Germany) provides possibilities for obtaining a qualification of a Mathematics and Computer Science teacher after a three-year study in the Bachelor of Mathematics or Computer Science study programme and two-year Master’s study in Pedagogy following after that. The Master’s study programme in a German higher education establishment is structurally simpler, because the number of study courses is smaller than that in the LAP study programme. They are bigger, including themes that in the LAP study programme “are scattered” in different courses having a smaller value, and are called, for example, “Pedagogy”, “Psychology”, “Mathematical Didactics”.

At Rostock University (Germany) training of mathematics teachers is organised as a five-year study programme, in which the constituent parts in the Bachelor’s of Mathematics study programme are not singled out (similar to one of the University of Latvia mathematics teachers’ professional study programmes).

It is interesting to note that a teacher’s qualification in Germany is awarded by professional teachers’ associations through collaboration with universities and, as a matter of fact, occurs after completion of the studies.
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Didactics of Mathematics and Computer Science iconКнига является завершением более чем 5-тысячелетнего периода в развитии «Учения о гармонии»
В 2009 г международное издательство “World Scientific” опубликовало книгу: A. P. Stakhov. The Mathematics of Harmony. From Euclid...
Didactics of Mathematics and Computer Science iconКнига является завершением более чем 5-тысячелетнего периода в развитии «Учения о гармонии»
В 2009 г международное издательство “World Scientific” опубликовало книгу: A. P. Stakhov. The Mathematics of Harmony. From Euclid...
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