Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module EDUC45030: A-level Mathematics Pedagogy

Department: Education

EDUC45030: A-level Mathematics Pedagogy

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching A-level Mathematics


  • • Students on this module must have at least one year’s experience of teaching mathematics in secondary schools and must be able to have access to teaching A level mathematics.


  • • Classroom Based Enquiry in A-level Mathematics

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce students to the theoretical and practical underpinnings of advanced mathematics teaching and learning.
  • To promote critical understanding of, and reflection on, aspects of teaching and learning mathematics.
  • To introduce students to mathematics education and pedagogy from a research-based perspective.
  • To provide the opportunity for students to develop their own understanding of mathematics.
  • To introduce students to the links between secondary mathematics education and advanced mathematics education; and between advanced mathematics education and university mathematics education.


  • The topics upon which the lectures will be based are:
  • • Conceptual problems with moving from finite to infinite mathematics
  • • The link between pedagogic practices and types of learning;
  • • Process and concepts links;
  • • The role of ICT in teaching and learning A level mathematics;
  • • Tools and affordances; • The role of questioning;
  • • Forms of assessment and student’s perceptions of assessment
  • • Visual representations of complex concepts;
  • • Concept images and concept definitions in advanced mathematics;
  • • Proof and reasoning in mathematics.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Successful students will:
  • LO1: Have a critical understanding of the types and potential sources of major misconceptions in core advanced mathematical topics;
  • LO2: Have a critical understanding of current paradigms informing mathematics education practice;
  • LO3: Have a critical understanding of current assessment practices in advanced mathematics.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Successful students will:
  • LO4: Be able to analyse critically mathematics education as a subject area;
  • LO5: Be able to critically analyse research relating to mathematics education and then apply this knowledge to solve specific problems relating to practice in a school context.
Key Skills:
  • Successful students will develop:
  • LO6: Critical analysis of research literature;
  • LO7: Presentation skills;
  • LO8: Academic writing and communication skills;
  • LO9: Critical reflective analysis.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be taught through a mixture of lectures and seminars.
  • The lectures will introduce a particular topic linked to the key topics listed above, with readings and tasks for the following sessions. [LO1, LO2, LO3]
  • The seminars will then follow up this lecture, with presentations and discussions of the research and problem-based approach to exploring the relevant issues. Participants will be encouraged to contextualise the research findings and topics to their own classroom experience [LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7, LO9]
  • The assignments will be a portfolio examining the link between the topics on the course and their classroom practice and the development of their mathematical skills (33%) [LO8]; 4000 word assignment relating the theory to a specific mathematical topic and how it is taught (66%). [LO8, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO9]

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1.5 hrs 15
Seminars/Workshops 10 1.5 hrs 15
Directed tasks (cia study guide and DUO) 8 1 hr 8
Preparation, portfolio development and reading 262
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Assignment 4000 words 67% Yes
Portfolio 1500 words equivalent 33% Yes
Both must be passed 100%

Formative Assessment:

Verbal feedback is given to students' contribution during class teaching sessions. Staff can be contacted for individual help. Written formative feedback is provided for the academic outline of the written assignment, and explored in more depth in the seminars and in visits to schools within the PGCert. Formative feedback on mathematical subject knowledge will be provided during seminars and tutorials. No ethical issues anticipated.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University