Bridging the gap to problem solving for every student


Teaching Innovation Fellowship fellow Darren Thresher from Cornish College

Darren Thresher’s teaching innovation project aims to enhance maths problem-solving accessibility for all students, regardless of ability.

Can you summarise your teaching innovation project?   

Our teaching innovation project aims to enhance maths problem-solving accessibility for our upper primary students. The focus is on improving problem access, duration and quality of attempts while fostering positive mathematical mindsets. To address the diverse needs of students, we have formed two sub-teams. Team A works to reduce the cognitive load of mathematical vocabulary and empower students to independently identify and comprehend unfamiliar math terms. Team B works to embed metacognitive thinking cycles and conversations into mathematical problem solving, employing a gradual release of responsibility model.  

What impact do you hope to make?   

The aim with this fellowship is to empower both staff and students to deliver high-quality, engaging problem-solving experiences. Early indicators are promising, such as increased student engagement, reduced mathematics anxiety, as well as higher frequency and duration of attempts. There is also evidence of improved use on problem-solving strategies, enhanced teacher knowledge on metacognition and mathematical language acquisition, and effective application of metacognitive scaffolds beyond maths. 

Can you describe the value of taking part in a fellowship?   

The fellowship is a platform to empower and support teachers as agents of change, allowing transformative shifts in education. We’ve been guided to develop a well-structured approach to project implementation, which enhances its effectiveness. We have formed form invaluable connections and relationships, fostering collaboration and shared growth.  

Further information

Last updated 22 August 2023