A Web-Based Tutorial Model for Preparing Teachers to Improve Math in Early Grades
This project has received funding from the Ministry of Science and Innovation, within the National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation, Ref.: EDU2012-35098 (2013-2015).
The Primate Program is a web-based tutorial model for preparing teachers to improve math in early grades. The main purpose is to provide pre-school, elementary teachers and special education teachers with online education, instructional materials and tutorials about how to teach math, based on the most recent scientific investigations. The proposed solution for improving at-risk students in grades 1-4 for math in early grades is the e-tool called “Primate Program” (primate.ull.es ), which aims to educate and train teachers to use evidence based instructions in math education. This e-tool is composed of e-learning modules, self-assessment stopping-points, web-based tutorials for preparing teachers and an interactive discussion forum.
The program is based on the Response to Intervention (RtI) model, presenting a preventive character, which is particularly important in educational systems of developing countries. The e-learning modules of the Primate Program provide the teacher with information about the RtI model and the theoretical foundations of early math skills. The web-based tutorials offer structured materials, based on direct instruction, and these materials are complemented by models of high quality practices in the form of virtual animations and video recordings in the classroom context. Much research suggests that teachers have a hard time implementing techniques that have only been described theoretically, and that positive using video or animation modeling is quite helpful. Furthermore, instructions for the use of learning progress monitoring and assessment (e.g., IPAM) are provided. Teachers can also consult attached resources to obtain more in depth information about teaching math. To the best of our knowledge, no technological resources that respond to the need to educate and train teachers in math education based on RtI model have been developed in the Spanish language domain or, in general, with a developing country orientation. The Primate Program has much potential at large scale, considering the future possibilities for every teacher, no matter where in the world, to receive online education about how to teach math, based on scientific evidence. The Primate Program has been piloting in Guatemala, Ecuador, and the Canary Islands on a representative sample of teachers and special education teachers.