We finished the „Mathematics are everywhere” conference summarizing the Added Value program. The event took place on the 8th of January in the „Kadr” Culture Centre in Warsaw, where a group of teachers and experts met to discuss wise, interesting and unconventional ways of teaching mathematics. 

The conference was opened by Agata Łuczyńska and Michał Szeląg from the School with Class Foundation, who spoke about the program’s main goals and how the ideas for materials evolved in accordance with the methodology of project work. Design Thinking accompanied us and our partners from day one and became not only a way to work, but the basis of every material we developed. Together with our partners: Smilemundo from Spain, ULS from Ireland and NHL Steden University from the Netherlands, we prepared 8 mathematics lesson plans, student worksheets, detailed tips for teachers and some useful tools: The Design Thinking Circle, a series of interactive posters and a map of key competences. All the materials are available for download (in four languages) at www.mathsiseverywhere.eu.

The next part of the conference involved a presentation by Raymond in het Veld- the principal of the Piter Jelles Leeuwarder Lyceum in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. He spoke about how important the principal’s role is in building cooperation within the school. 

Then the participants took part in a chosen workshop: 

  1. Inclusive Education: avoiding the trap of designing for the „average” student (workshop in English, with translation). Roelien Bos-Wierda, Ron Barendsen, Harma de Vries, InnovationLab, NHL Stenden, the Netherlands.
  2. The STEAM Method in Schools, for grades 4 to 8. Agnieszka Chomicka-Bosy, Marlena Hlebowicz, the Central House of Technology (Centralny Dom Technologii).  
  3. Building Thinking Classrooms- how to engage students. Magdalena Jurewicz, The School of Education of the Polish American Freedom Foundation and the University of Warsaw (Szkoła Edukacji PAFW i UW).  
  4. Mathematics without a Coursebook- how to magically create teaching materials for mathematics education. Professor Małgorzata Makiewicz, The Mathematic Institute of the Szczecin University (Instytut Matematyki Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego). 
  5. The Wellbeing of a Teacher- a dream teachers’ lounge (one of the Added Value program challenges). Karolina Żelazowska, education expert. 
  6. Don’t start with an idea, start with the needs. Design Thinking as a method of designing solutions in schools. Marta Puciłowska, School with Class Foundation. 
  7. Designing an Original Lesson Plan, Step by Step- Design Thinning in a classroom. Workshop for teachers who worked on the Added Value challenges. Michał Szeląg, School with Class Foundation. 

Discussion panels were an important element of the event. The first one, with students from primary schools in Gdańsk and Warsaw, was a discussion focused on what an interesting math lesson should look like. We also discussed how lessons using the Added Value program’s materials answered various needs. Students spoke foremost of responsibility, independence and the space to make decisions. The program’s challenges e.g. Create a Dream Classroom, inspired them to talk about an ideal school, in which they could learn various subjects without hinderance and in an unconventional way.

The discussion panel which included Polish and international experts, was a response to the student panel.  Participants included: dr Anna Baczko-Dombi from the Institute of Sociology of the University of Warsaw, dr Roelien Wierda from the NHL Stenden University in the Netherlands, dr Petros Georgiakakis from the Pireusie University in Greece, dr Dominique Persano Adorno from the Palermo University in Italy and dr Hanna Viitala from the Helsinki University in Finland. 

Thank you to all the participants for their fantastic energy and engagement, all the experts and speakers for their time and their valuable conclusions, and our partners for all their support. 

Take a look at our photo and video reports from the event. We hope for many future meetings in such inspiring company. 

ADDED VALUE: „Mathematics Are Everywhere” Conference

Fot. Stefan Mleczak