Making Work Groups work

At the heart of all Maths Hubs’ work is a concerted effort to shape and refine models of ongoing professional learning that are grounded in the unique characteristics of maths teaching, and that have a good chance of enabling positive change to take root in a school over time. With that aim in mind, the Work Group model was devised, and is used as the vehicle for all Maths Hubs projects. The common characteristics of all Work Groups are these:

  • There must be a rationale and clear intended outcomes, answering the question ‘why are we doing this and what do we hope will result from our work together?’
  • They must have a defined start and finish time, stretching over at least a term and ideally a school year
  • Participants combine joint activities in workshops with work with colleagues back in their own school. They must have the opportunity/responsibility to try out what they are learning in their own schools and discuss their findings with fellow Work Group participants
  • There is a Work Group Lead whose duty is to co-ordinate the work and to lead the evaluation, so that at the end, the group can answer the questions: ‘Did this work?’ ‘How do we know?’; ‘Should the Work Group be repeated next year, perhaps on a larger scale, or in more places?’; ‘What might the current Work Group participants do next year?’