The 2016 Masters Award

The 2016 Masters award was won by Lydia Reimer, MSc Education (Comparative and International Education).

The title of Lydia’s dissertation was Principles and practice: Comparing primary teacher perceptions of the changing mathematics curricula in Scotland and England for which she received the highest mark of 79.

Of her dissertation Lydia says:

My interest in the changing nature of mathematics teaching grew while working as a primary teacher in Scotland. For my MSc (CIE) research, I explored primary maths teaching in Scotland and England from a comparative perspective. Although both countries had recently introduced curriculum reforms, their policies appeared very different. My dissertation asked: How do teachers in Scotland and England perceive the contribution of their respective primary mathematics curricula to their pedagogy? Findings were drawn from qualitative interviews and observations with teachers, interviews with local authority representatives, and analysis of the curricula. In particular, I was intrigued to find common trends in how teachers perceived changes in what is considered good practice despite their different policy contexts. Trends related especially to what it means for pupils to develop a ‘secure’ understanding of mathematics and how primary teachers can promote it. My dissertation focused on these themes and on the complex relationship between curriculum and pedagogy in these ‘near neighbours’. Since the dissertation I have continued with CIE – but this time working with Redearth Education in Uganda to provide support and training for primary schools and teachers in a rural district.

Lydia’s supervisor was Dr Jenni Ingram who added:

Lydia’s research focused on an international comparison of Scottish and English primary teachers’ responses to mathematics curriculum changes and their impact on practice.  Her findings reveal some interesting similarities and differences around what it means to have a thorough or secure understanding of mathematics and how this can be achieved.  Teachers’ perspectives and descriptions of teaching were clearly influenced by the curriculum changes in each country and yet there were considerable similarities in what they emphasise and saw as good practice, even though they described these through the different discourses associated with their respective curricula. A very interesting study and well worth a read!

CIE 2015 webpage

Lydia is first on the left in this picture of her MSc Education (Comparative and International Education) cohort at the start of their course in October 2015