Implementation of the New Sub-Program for Mathematics Teachers at the University of Latvia [PDF]

Maruta Avotiņa, Elīna Buliņa, Guna Brenda Pogule
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract: A qualified and knowledgeable teacher is a foundation of a good education, responsible for motivating a pupil to acquire new knowledge and apply it in different ways. By 2020, in Latvia, a teacher’s qualification could be obtained in various higher education institutions, which had dozens of study programs in different faculties, so it was difficult for school graduates to orientate in a large number of programs and requirements. Between 2018 and 2020, within the European Social Fund project “Education and Pedagogy” of the University of Latvia, a joint professional bachelor’s study program “Teacher” for several universities was developed. This program has several sub-programs – one of which is the sub-program “Mathematics Teacher” where in September 2020, the first students started their studies. In the new program significant changes were made compared to the previous programs. In this article we analyze the changes made to the study courses while comparing them with a professional bachelor’s program “Secondary School Mathematics Teacher” in the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Latvia.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought changes to the planned study process, which also affected the implementation of the new program. Thus, in September and early October 2020 students at the University of Latvia attended lectures in person, but in mid-October the remote study process began. Since studying and lecturing online is a new experience not only for students, but also for the majority of lecturers and professors, it was a great challenge to reorganize the study process from studying in person to remote learning without losing quality and feedback acquisition. Given the fact that pupils and students in Latvia studied remotely also in Spring 2020, several surveys were conducted, focusing on remote learning process in schools. In order to see how remote studies affect students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs, a survey about difficulties of remote learning process for 1st year students in the sub-program “Mathematics Teacher” was conducted.
Keywords: mathematics teacher education, mathematics study courses, professional bachelor program Teacher, remote learning, teacher education.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3