The project Flipped Learning Practices to Release Maths Anxiety with the Use of Robotics (MindMaths) aims at closing skills gaps of undergraduate students, who will work at primary schools, in solution processes of possible challenges related to students with MA by developing a higher education elective course curriculum and a video library. Running from September 2020 to August 2022, the project is funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus + Programme, Key Action 203 for Higher Education.
MindMaths aims at tackling skills gaps and mismatches in the area of primary school teaching (mathematics teaching in particular) in higher education institutions through designing and developing a curriculum that meets the learning needs of undergraduate students that are relevant to the contemporary demands of education sector and societal needs through including better use of open, online, blended and multidisciplinary learning approaches.
Elaboration of the multidisciplinary modular curriculum will enable undergraduate students to gain high-quality professional knowledge and skills, while the introduction of blended learning and robotics into educational practice will enable students to improve their soft skills desirable on the education sector and will make the teaching processes more attractive.
Education is the key element for each individual to grow as a person. An individual, who has skills, which play a significant role in today’s work life, will gain a credible position in the society. The situation applies to undergraduate students as well. They need to improve their teaching skills to internalize the innovative approaches in education. There is a great number of researches revealing the significance of the situation. Briefly stated, The European Commission (EC) report (Rethinking Education) states that investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes and supporting Europe’s teachers to develop professionally is one of its priorities because high-quality teachers have an important influence on ensuring learners to develop their skills and competencies.
The Research (RAND) indicates that among school-related factors, teachers matter most. When it comes to student performance on reading and math tests, a teacher is estimated to be two thirds more effective than the impact of any other school factors. Hereby, investing in prospective teachers’ professional developments becomes more meaningful in terms of facilitating the individuals to improve their basic skills and catch up with the emerging needs of the new era.
As a focus of MindMaths, Mathematics Anxiety (MA) is a negative emotional reaction to mathematics that can be debilitating. It has been defined as a feeling of tension and anxiety that interferes with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in ordinary life and academic situations (Ashcraft & Moore, 2009) and can affect
primary school students’ numeracy performances and keep these students away from STEM fields for life when in fact they would be perfectly able to perform well in these fields (Devine, 2019). Blended Learning practices reinforced with robotics looks promising in terms of providing an enjoyable and interesting learning environment. MindMaths will develop new
educational practices including robotics and blended learning in mathematics education in primary school teaching departments based on educational research and creativity.