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On behalf of all the members of the European ERASMUS+ project entitled, "Enhancing Differentiated Instruction and Cognitive Activation in Mathematics Lessons by Supporting Teacher Learning (EDUCATE), I would like to welcome you to our project's website. Sponsored by the ERASMUS+ programme of the European Union, the transnational project EDUCATE aims at integrating cognitive activation and differentiation, aspiring to promote both cognitive activation and differentiated teaching in the subject of Mathematics, through the provision of appropriate support to teachers and teacher educators.

In the past, researchers have typically worked on the two domains – either cognitive activation or differentiation – in isolation. As a result of past works, we now know that in terms of cognitive activation, immersing students in cognitively demanding tasks determines the quantity and quality of their learning, especially when it comes to mathematical thinking and mathematical reasoning. However, teachers often fail to teach in cognitively activating ways, even when using challenging tasks. On the other hand, research findings related to the second domain of the project (i.e., differentiation) suggest that differentiated teaching can positively influence learning. However, such teaching is difficult for teachers.

Focusing on these two domains separately, however, leaves some critical questions unaddressed:

  • Can teachers enact cognitively demanding tasks with all students and at the same time tailor their lesson to meet different student needs and readiness levels? If so, how?
  • What teacher challenges and needs arise when concurrently working in both areas?
  • What kind of support might teachers need to teach for both cognitive activation and differentiation?

The EDUCATE project aims to contribute to this research gap, by studying the difficulties and challenges that arise in the effort of teachers to involve all their students in cognitively demanding work on the one hand, and on the other hand, by developing and implementing educational materials for teachers and teacher educators, which will support teachers in this endeavour.

The EDUCATE logo is based on the above-mentioned ideas with "∈" representing the mathematical symbol of belonging, implying the inclusion and involvement of all students in the learning process, and the mathematical symbol "∪" denoting the union/integration between the two domains of cognitive activation ("ca") and differentiation ("d") in which the project aims. The spiral behind the name of the project reflects the idea of teacher’s learning through the provision of appropriate, continuous and scaffolded professional development, as the spiral shape represents the evolution and the continuous development. LogoEDUCATE

The project could not have taken place without the support of the teachers who volunteer to participate in the different phases of the project, whom we would like to thank for opening their classrooms and letting us in. In doing so these teachers greatly contribute toward studying and understanding how teachers can get better support to use cognitively demanding tasks in their teaching.

Our website is systematically updated and anyone interested in our work will have the opportunity to be informed about the activities and the results of the project at each of its phases. Scholars and policymakers interested in our work can also contact us directly.

I would like to invite you to browse our website to get a better sense of our project's activities. Should you have any questions about the project or if you have any feedback for its rationale, activities, presentations, and publications, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The project coordinator

Dr. Charalambos Y. Charalambous

Assistant Professor of Educational Research and Evaluation

University of Cyprus

 

 


This project, entitled “Enhancing Differentiated Instruction and Cognitive Activation in Mathematics Lessons by Supporting Teacher Learning (EDUCATE)” has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the project consortium, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.