Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai’s ‘MathsThroughStories.org’ project and Professor Carol Fuller and Dr. Maria Danos’s ‘Marvellous Mums/Marvellous Me’ project got shortlisted for the University’s 2019 Research Engagement and Impact Awards. With almost 40 submissions from across the University this year, only 12 projects got shortlisted. According to the Awards webpage, “The Awards recognise and reward people at the University who undertake or support high-quality engagement and impact activities.” Winners will receive £1,000 towards their next engagement activity. The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday 25 June 2019, and the event will be hosted by Professor Parveen Yaqoob (Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation). We wish them all good luck!
Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai’s ‘MathsThroughStories.org’ project sets out to raise teachers’ awareness of the power of storytelling to make mathematics learning more accessible and enjoyable. Drawing from the findings of his research on teachers’ self-reported key barriers that prevent them from teaching mathematics using storytelling, Dr. Trakulphadetkrai designed the website to try to eliminate those barriers. The website offers several free on-line resources, including the world’s largest database of 500+ recommendations for mathematical stories, book reviews, lesson ideas and monthly CPD newsletters.
Since its launch in 2017, the website has been viewed over 280,000 times by more than 54,000 teachers and parents from over 180 countries. With over 3,700 Twitter followers, teachers are using the social media to praise Dr. Trakulphadetkrai’s initiative and share his recommended mathematical stories and other free resources with colleagues globally. A rapidly growing number of teachers have also been inspired by Dr. Trakulphadetkrai’s initiative, and have become on-line contributors sharing lesson ideas with other teachers on the website.
Over the past two years, Dr. Trakulphadetkrai has also been running free workshops at 30+ universities nationally and internationally to model to teacher educators his Maths Through Stories training approach so they themselves can train the next generations of teachers. Nearly 2,000 teacher trainees have received his training. Dr. Trakulphadetkrai has also been invited to meet with representatives of Ireland’s National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in Dublin in March 2019 to explore how explicit recommendations for Irish teachers to use storytelling can be included in the country’s upcoming primary mathematics curriculum.
Professor Carol Fuller and Dr. Maria Danos’s ‘Marvellous Mums/Marvellous Me’ programme sets out to empower local women, from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, with greater levels of confidence and self-esteem so that they, in turn, can empower their own children with confidence and self-esteem.
The programme works in partnership within the local community with organisations, such as the Whitely Community Development Association, Home Start, Reading Borough Council Social Work, Alana House.
The programme is also supported by local charities including Home Start, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Christian Aide as well as the MP for Reading West, Alok Sharma. Importantly, three mums from last year are supporting delivery this year. Following the success of last year, the programme has been able to modify the programme to create an additional collaboration with the local office for Work and Pensions.