Mrs Sevinç Göksen is a mathematics teacher at two schools in Amsterdam. Marcanti College is a school with diverse ethnicities and cultures, where Mrs Göksen has been teaching for over ten years. Cartesius 2 is a new school which adopts an innovative and project-based approach to schooling. The primary focus of the school is to provide students with an excellent and wide range of personal talent development programmes.
Mrs Göksen has carried out a research which focused on reading skills used in learning mathematics at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Currently, she is doing her doctoral research in the field of language skills in mathematical modelling, which is part of the Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Mathematical modelling is the practical and creative process whereby realistic problems are translated to the mathematical form.
During Mrs Göksen’s stint with AST, she conducted four Master Classes for over 180 mathematics teachers. She shared with the teachers and key personnel from schools the theory and core principals of RME. Through the exploration of designing RME lesson activities, teachers were able to apply what they learned to different topics in the secondary mathematics syllabus. During the Master Classes, Mrs Göksen also focused on the importance of mathematical modelling.
In addition, Mrs Göksen visited four schools: Christ Church Secondary School, Dunman High School, Northbrooks Secondary School, and Yusof Ishak Secondary School, where she observed how mathematics was taught in the Singapore context. She provided feedback on the lessons that she observed, and also had the opportunity to demonstrate how RME could be applied to the teaching of graphs when she taught a class of secondary three students. Mrs Göksen encouraged teachers to be facilitators of learning and to provide more collaborative learning opportunities for students in the mathematics classrooms.
Mrs Göksen believes that students need more real-life examples in the learning of mathematics to help see the subject’s relevance and application. Teachers could help students link specific mathematics topics to their own experiences, and this will help them understand mathematics concepts easily. Coupled with collaborative learning, when students are given the opportunity to discuss with their classmates the different ways of solving a problem, it promotes their mathematical thinking skills. The classroom is a place where the teacher can guide students’ thinking through the use of good questioning techniques, instead of quickly giving them the solution or telling them the way to get the answers.
Mrs Göksen was very generous in sharing her resources and teaching ideas with our teachers during her two-and-a-half-week stint in Singapore. Our teachers and officers are truly appreciative that they have had the pleasure of interacting with her through this OEIR programme.