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E-Math:Improving Competence in Mathematics using New Teaching Methods and ICT (E-Math)
Start date: Apr 30, 2011, End date: Dec 30, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

A high competence in mathematics is crucial for successful high-tech industry in the Nordic societies. The project aims at enhancing the competitiveness of the high-tech industry in the regions by improving the mathematical skills among the youth entering the labour market, increasing the attractiveness of careers requiring mathematics, and decreasing the tendency of drop out of studies. A resource centre will be set up that serves as an innovation and development platform for mathematics education and e-learning (the E-math center). The center provides support for teachers by distributing study material, organizing teachers education courses, and providing software tools. Experiences and best practices are shared and new methods and tools disseminated among the user community. The E-math center also provides a standardized platform for providing added value services, creating an attractive business market for mathematics, physics, computer science, and engineering education. The project is carried out in close cooperation between the cities of Turku (lead partner), Stockholm, Tallinn, and Mariehamn, Åbo Akademi University and University of Turku. The project builds upon a new method for teaching mathematics called structured derivations, which has been extensively tried in the Turku region during the last ten years with very encouraging results.The other cities are now eager to try out the method in their schools. The method introduces a new standard for presenting mathematical arguments, requiring the student to carefully motivate each step in a mathematical derivation, thus forcing the student to better grasp the underlying theory. Empirical studies have shown that this improves mathematics learning substantially. Using computers and the internet will further enhance the effectiveness of the method. The E-math center aims at expanding the use of the method to new schools in the region and outside the region, during and after the project. WP1: Project management and coordination. -- WP2: Pilot courses. The new method is tried out in a number of pilot courses in the participating cities in close cooperation with the education authorities and teachers. -- WP3: Teacher's training courses. Teachers giving the pilot courses need to be educated and trained in the new method and computer support. This is done in a number of training courses in the participating cities, where the methods and tools are adapted to the local environment in close cooperation with the participating teachers. -- WP4: Course material for pilot courses. New course material needs to be created for the pilot courses, adapted to the local requirements of each city, and translated to the local language. -- WP5: Web based learning environment for mathematics. The project builds an integrated open-source computer based system for teaching mathematics that supports the new method and serves as a platform of added value services. Achievements: The E-Math project enhanced the competitiveness of the high-tech industry by improving mathematical skills among young people and reducing the tendency to drop out of studies that require maths. The project developed a new method for teaching mathematics based on a different way of presenting maths called structured derivations combined with a new kind of interactive e-books. The e-books are the first in the world to enable the writing of higher level mathematics on a computer in an easy way. The E-Math method has been tested by over 1000 students in pilot courses arranged by the partner cities with encouraging results.
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