The AIMS Ghana Masters in Mathematical Sciences for Teachers (MMST) Program constitutes part of AIMS Ghana’s postgraduate training modules since 2020. The program aims at equipping mathematics teachers at the High School levels with 21st-century mathematical skills towards improved content and methodology in teaching mathematics at second-cycle institutions.
Launched in November 2020 in Accra, with 50 student-teachers from 11 regions in Ghana (32 males, 18 women), the two-year program has its funding from the Government of Ghana under the auspices of the UNESCO Category II arrangement. The program’s objective is to build African initiatives in science education, research, and technology.
The MMST modules are learner-centered and gender-responsive, addressing the quality of teaching at the high school level. The modules also equip teachers with the requisite skills to understand and tackle specific learning needs of female and male learners at the high school levels. The program is delivered in a hybrid model (30% residential and 70% online), allowing them to practice in their respective classrooms as they adjust to the new normal of virtual learning.
The AIMS Ghana MMST program focuses on mathematics and its applications and challenges learners to be creative and innovative in teaching mathematics. The goal is to train teachers who will be able to whip up young learners’ interest in mathematics and science, building up Ghana’s human capital, while addressing African needs for socio-economic development.
Within the last ten months, the student-teachers have had both online and residential sessions. Their second residential session recently took place, with participants spending three weeks (2nd-22nd August 2021) at the AIMS Ghana Centre in Accra. They had the opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with renowned lecturers, network and connect with colleagues, and better understand particular courses. The residential block offered them the chance to delve deeper into Physical Problem Solving and Scientific Computing with Python, bringing them to the end of the Skills phase. These skills phase courses give them the basis to understand the modules in the Review phase (final stage) without difficulty.
So far, there has been an improvement in the teaching strategies of the teachers involved. Dora Okyere Eghan, a Teacher under the program, engaged her class in a mathematical presentation at Morning Star School, Accra. The activity focused on Geometry, where the concepts of Angles, Triangles, and Pythagoras’ Theorem were exhibited by her students, using tools and situations of everyday life. Students from her class used creative ways to depict their ideas with designs that blended art with mathematical knowledge.
For Dora, it was great to see students come up with innovative ways to present mathematics. The activities proved to the students that Mathematics is everywhere and is more practical than abstract. Using skills and ideas she gained from the MMST program, she has adopted a better approach to delivering mathematical knowledge at the High School level. Her goal is for students to appreciate mathematics as real-world phenomena rather than as abstract ideas. “It was thrilling, interesting, and participatory as they took turns explaining their mathematical concepts to other classmates and me in their unique style!” she said.
Preparations are underway to open applications for the MMST program’s second cohort as the first cohort takes a break to resume the Review phase in November.