Mathematical thinking in schools
This module is designed to help you develop your knowledge and understanding of the teaching of mathematics. It is suitable for any Key Stage, and will broaden your ideas about how people learn and use mathematics. There is no formal examination: assessment is based on tutor-marked assignments and an end-of-module assessment. To complete the module assessment, you’ll need to work with a learner or learners who will be pleasantly challenged by secondary school-level mathematics.
What you will study
This module is designed to:
- develop your mathematical thinking
- raise your awareness to some ways in which people learn mathematics
- provide you with experience of different teaching approaches and the learning opportunities they afford
- develop your awareness of, and facility with, ICT in the learning and teaching of mathematics
- develop your knowledge and understanding of some important mathematical ideas.
Successful study of this module should enhance your skills in communicating mathematical ideas clearly and succinctly and explaining mathematical ideas to others
You can find the full content list on the Open mathematics and statistics website.
You will learn
The module starts from the assumption that mathematics education is an intrinsically worthwhile enterprise; it is therefore worth striving to understand its processes in order to do it better. The module aims arise from the nature of mathematics education as a process of human interaction, which means that certain aspects of the module can only be engaged with through practice. You will be expected to work on mathematics tasks yourself and consider the process you have worked through in terms of your thinking. From this perspective, the module offers ways of working that contribute to your own mathematical development and, by enhancing your work with other learners, can enrich learning and confidence.
This module may help you to gain membership of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA). For further information, see the IMA website.
There is no formal pre-requisite study. However,
- you should be over 18
- your own level of mathematics should be at least GCSE Grade 4 (or equivalent)
- you do need to have a reasonable standard of spoken and written English
- to complete the assessment, you’ll need to work with a learner or learners who will be pleasantly challenged by secondary school-level mathematics. It is possible for friends or family members to act as your learners, but it is preferable if you can work with some secondary age children.
You can find out more about our mathematics education modules here.
Talk to an advisor if you’re not sure if you’re ready.
You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:
- a week-by-week study planner
- course-specific module materials
- audio and video resources
- GeoGebra computer software and associated guidance
- assessment details, instructions and guidance
- online tutorial access
The study materials are available via the module website or as downloadable (non-interactive) pdfs.
There are no printed materials in this module.
You will need
You will need a scanner, digital camera or mobile phone camera – to scan your evidence – if you wish to submit your assignments electronically via our eTMA system.
You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (11 'Big Sur' or higher).
Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.
To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).
Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.
Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.
It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.