At the end of this week the University of Education in Freiburg started its first mascil teacher training for secondary school teachers. "With our training we show mathematics and science teachers how they can initiate motivating learning processes based on real work experiences we got access to through our cooperation with several vocational school teachers", says Prof. Dr. Katja Maaß from the Institute of Mathematical Education in Freiburg.


Generating motivating learning scenarios

During the past months Katja Maaß and her team have worked together with vocational school teachers and generated motivating learning scenarios, leaving behind the presentation of abstract equations most students have no access to. After introducing the teachers to the principles of inquiry-based learning, they collected and discussed real work experiences and challenges connected to the vocations they teach - as there are the baker's and pastry-cook's trade, the butcher's trade as well as the hotel and restaurant trade - to then work out inquiry based-learning tasks based on these experiences and challenges. "Since vocational school teachers don't only impart theoretical but also practical knowledge they came up with many great ideas for vocationally oriented tasks which they further developed in accordance to the principles of inquiry-based learning and under the guidance of my team", says Katja Maaß.

Working in tandems

But the training which now started for secondary school teachers is not only new in the way the teaching material came about but also in terms of its conception: The vocational school teachers will take part in it and team up with the secondary school teachers. "In the course of the training they will work in tandems and adapt the tasks we developed in the run-up to the training to their and their students needs so that they can eventually try them out in their own classrooms."

The worked over tasks will be tried out by the secondary as well as the vocational school teachers. "When one teacher is trying out the tasks at his or her school he or she will be accompanied by his or her tandem partner so both can profit from each other's experiences. This conception also makes it possible to evaluate and compare the reactions of the students at the various schools", says Katja Maaß.