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Professional Development

Introducing the CAME Network 

The CAME Network is a group of researchers, teachers and tutors who wish to support others to use and develop the Thinking Maths or CAME materials that were first developed by Mundher Adhami, David Johnson and Michael Shayer.  A core group of advocates is now available to support and advise those who wish to know more about and also to develop the CAME approach within their schools.

The CAME materials will soon be available online for those who wish to use them in an electronic format. There will also be new professional development options available for those who wish to be more involved with the CAME Network. Please get in touch if you would like:

1. access to the materials,
2. to become more involved with us,
3. to take part in the Network’s development projects.

Alan Edmiston can be contacted for further information about all aspects of the CAME Network and its work: alan.edmiston@letsthink.org.uk
 

Online LTE Course 

Let's Think in English tutors are running online courses for teachers new to the programme in trained schools. The second session took place in January with a focus on cognitive conflict and desirable difficulties. Participants attend three online sessions spread across the academic year and undertake intersessional tasks.  
 

Let's Think in English Networks

The LTE Networks for trained schools met in the autumn term. 44 primary and 83 secondary colleagues joined the online sessions with presentations on: 

  • LTE in the COVID classroom
  • Rebuilding dialogic norms in the LTE classroom
  • Feuerstein's Instrumental Enrichment in the days of Covid-19 
  • The need to Think Hard: The Evidence and LTE

The spring meetings are scheduled for late February. The sessions will explore the Oracy Benchmarks and provide an opportunity to plan a LTE lesson.   

News

Cognitive Acceleration - our latest research publication 

The latest journal article from the Let’s Think team has just been published. The article describes a project which sought to replicate the original studies conducted 10–15 years earlier and before much national curriculum change, through a professional development project with 41 teachers of children aged 6–12 from London in 2014.

 

Results of pre- and post-test of mathematics attainment are reported for 232 students. Despite a shorter duration, data shows increased teacher efficacy, improved teaching and a mean gain equivalent to 2.6 months learning for benefitting students, which broadly mirrors cognitive effects of original trials with twice the duration. This evidence corroborates the impact demonstrated in several original Cognitive Acceleration research papers, and additionally details specific impact on teacher confidence and classroom practice.
 
Seleznyov, S., Adhami, M., Black, A., Hodgen, J. and Twiss, S., 2021. Cognitive acceleration in mathematics education: further evidence of impactEducation 3-13, pp.1-13.
 

Leading LTE Course 

28 primary and secondary teachers completed their “Leading Let’s Think in English” course in December 2020. The course was designed for experienced LTE teachers leading the programme in their setting and wishing to develop their teaching, leadership and understanding of LTE.

The course consisted of four full-days across an academic year with inter-sessionary tasks. In the evaluations 100% of respondents indicated they would recommend the course to another and participants felt they had a better understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of Let’s Think and they became more responsive practitioners. You can read the full report here.

Following the course eight teachers have volunteered to be part of a new LTE Steering Group, providing feedback and support for the programme. 


 

Let's Think Maths in Wales: old and new friends 

Despite the challenges of lockdown, a group of nearly 20 teachers have joined a new project, which is seeking to reinvigorate Let's Think Maths in Wales.  

 

The teacher group includes a combination of experienced Let's Think teachers and teachers new to the approach. 

Schools are sending teachers in pairs or small groups to the online training sessions, which are supplemented by pre-recorded lesson simulations.  

Despite the challenges, we already have some teachers experimenting with using Let's Think Maths lessons both for key worker school and for remote teaching. 

Research and Reading

Increasing Students’ Scientific Creativity: The ‘Learn to Think’ Intervention Program

Philip Adey worked together with Chinese researchers, in particular Weiping Hu, to develop a ‘Learn to Think’ curriculum. A fusion of the five pillars of CASE and ideas from Chinese research were exemplified in a curriculum intervention.  This was an interesting combination of infused and stand alone thinking lessons. This intervention was carried out with grade 1, 2 and 3 classes and showed improved thinking competences during the trial. Long and far transfer to attainment in mathematics and Chinese at the end of primary school were also strongly evident.
 
A follow up study was published in 2013 to report the far transfer effect of the Learn to Think programme on Scientific Creativity by James Kaufman, Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut, as an expert in research in creativity. This independent research has shown how wide the reach and influence of the learning generated by cognitive acceleration programmes can be and is very much worth the read.
 
References
 
Hu, W., Adey, P., Jia, X., Liu, J., Zhang, L., Li, J., Dong, X., (2011)  Effects of a “Learn to Think” intervention programme on primary school students: Effects of “Learn to Think” intervention programme. British Journal of Educational Psychology 81, 531–557. doi:10.1348/2044-8279.002007
 
Increasing Students’ Scientific Creativity: The“Learn to Think” Intervention Program
Weiping Hu  Baojun Wu  Xiaojuan Jia  Xinfa Yi  Chunyan Duan  Winter Meyer  James C. Kaufman

Interview with...

David Bailey
Director of Carmel Research School

 

When did you first become engaged with LT?  What was your initial reaction?

I first met CASE as a newly-qualified teacher back in 1996 as part of my Initial Teacher Training at Durham, courtesy of my PGCE tutor (Dr Marion Jones), who had found some success with this programme with a group of schools in Sunderland and had integrated many of the activities into our Chemistry programme. 




 

I also visited a teacher at the time (Alan Edmiston), who spoke passionately about the impact that he had found with using CASE.  I was fortunate to be exposed to this right at the start of my career and was able to complete the training for teachers straight away. When trying these ideas out in a school in my first teaching role, CASE struck me as a fascinating project and I tried these ideas with classes, although I found it tricky at first to ‘stick to the script’. Luckily, I had support from other teachers at the school to discuss this with, and that helped me stick with it. it did prove to be really engaging for the pupils and the more I practised, the easier it was to teach the lessons.

How has LT affected the way you approach teaching and learning?  What difference has it made to pupils you teach and what's your evidence for this?

Over the next 15 years or so, I moved to other schools, leading science departments. Each time I moved, I would either introduce CASE of commit to expanding this to other teachers as I went. Over this time, I was also exposed to dozens of other interventions, both departmental and whole-school - some good and some not so. Most of these interventions came and went, whereas CASE stuck, and with good reason - it worked consistently well. It was behind much of the improvements within these teams, which showed as increased performance and healthy progression to post-16 science.

Where are you now with LT and where next?

Rolling forward to 2017, the opportunity to lead regional school improvement programmes with what is now Carmel Research School, firstly in Maths and then in Science meant that CAME and CASE were obvious candidates for key components to the interventions. The programmes provided the opportunity to train a new group of teachers across 17 schools, and the opportunity to work again with Alan Edmiston.

For those of you familiar with the Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF), it involved working with schools in some of the most challenging circumstances using evidence-informed approaches with a strong track record of recent success.  Due to the large body of evidence supporting CASE and CAME and similar approaches, I felt it was likely to be a really successful approach to include as part of a 'long-term fix' for schools. Interestingly, as part of our application, we also needed to demonstrate that we had used similar approaches beforehand and were able to demonstrate local successes.  You can read more about the impact of this project here

We are planning to continue our networks of CASE and CAME teachers that have grown from these projects to help support these teachers develop their CASE teaching, so that another generation of pupils in the region benefit from the experience.

 

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