Estonian school digital competence brings Cambridge mathematicians to Tartu

07.03.2016

Representatives of the University of Cambridge’s centre for mathematical studies Cambridge Mathematics will be visiting Tartu and the University of Tartu for the first time today and tomorrow, on 7 and 8 March, to learn about the Estonian school system and the computer based statistics project led by the University of Tartu Centre for School Mathematics and Informatics. 

Visitors from Cambridge, headed by Director Lynne McClure, will be introduced to mathematics studies in Miina Härma Gymnasium and Tartu Private School and, together with Estonian researchers and teachers, they will discuss the problems of teaching and assessing computer based statistics.

The main reason for visiting Estonia is the computer based statistics project which during 2012–2014 developed the common concept of computer based statistics studies, innovative study materials and passed first piloting in 31 basic schools and secondary education schools.

Associate Professor Terje Hõim, Head of UT Centre for School Mathematics and Informatics, described that it is a conceptually new curriculum with digital study materials where the calculations are left to computers and the lessons focus more on wording the right questions and presumptions, understanding the content of activities and the challenges in computations and making conclusions. The curriculum’s aim is to achieve mathematical skills as well as wider general competence.

The project is currently in the second stage where the didactics and user-friendliness of the study materials is improved and the focus is on assessing the results of this novel studying method.

“As the people of Cambridge Maths have visited several other countries and gathered similar best study materials and approaches aimed at developing digital competence and e-tests, we are interested in hearing what is being done in other countries and what they have considered worth developing,” said Hõim. 

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