M Level primary mathematics CPD: a culture clash or catalyst?
One key outcome of a recent seminal review of primary mathematics was a renewed emphasis on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers of primary mathematics (Williams, 2008). The National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) endorses its importance (Hoyles, 2012) and the current Government emphasises the importance of teacher quality (DfE, 2010). However, a prerequisite for the success of the drive to broaden participation in primary mathematics CPD is the willingness and commitment of individual teachers to enrol on relevant programmes. This study explores the cultural barriers and incentives early career primary teachers experience regarding Masters-level primary mathematics CPD. Its focus is the teachers’ analyses of their experiences within both their Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Higher Education Institution (HEI) and primary school setting. Data was collected through questionnaires and follow-up, in-depth individual interviews. Findings indicate that the role of significant others, such as the Senior Leadership Team, can be influential and that key aspects of the early career phase of a teacher’s career can also be important. Implications for practice in both primary schools and HEI ITE providers are discussed