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Chapter 1

The Reactions of Mathematics Teachers from one High School towards Online Teaching.
Naomi Gloria Usher
University of Belize
Dr. Wilma Wright
October 24, 2020
Chapter 1: Introduction
The Reactions of Mathematics Teachers from one High School towards Online Teaching.
There is a growing demand for the application of technology in students learning, now more
than ever due to the striking COVID-19 pandemic that shook the world by surprise. The COVID19 has resulted in schools shutting down all over the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children
are out of the classroom. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with a rise of elearning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms (Li, 2020).
Ferlazzo (2020) stated that mathematics is one of the most time consuming and challenging
subject to teach high school students through any online platform, hence the reason teachers need
to select the essential topics to teach. But, it is not impossible to do if teachers are flexible and
prepared to give instructions virtually.
In Belize, the Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber has recommended all schools to
engage students in online or other forms of distance education. The MOE also promised that
teachers would undergo workshops to help better prepare them for online teaching. However,
some high schools have not received any training thus far. One of those high schools is in the
southern region of Belize. For this study, the pseudo name for this high school is Mallyapple
The institution is a Co-Ed Secondary Level High School located in Toledo District, Belize
C.A. The institution opened its doors in September 1983. It is one of the largest high schools in
Belize that has an enrolment of 887 students. The school's departments are Arts, Science,
Vocational, Business, Tourism, Math, and Counseling. The mathematics department, which is
one of the largest established in 2006. It consists of 28 teachers. In total, the teachers teach 23
classes, and their teaching hours range from 12 to 26 credit hours.
The school had always had in-class face-to-face sessions with their students, but because of
the COVID 19 pandemic, they had to move to an online platform. Hon. Patrick Faber promised
these teachers training to teach online, but they haven't received any training. Teachers at the
school, especially the 4th form math department teachers are concerned about how they will
execute a subject such as mathematics on an online platform because some of the topics require
hands-on activities.
Feedbacks haven't been collected from the mathematics teachers of this particular high
school in Southern Belize to understand how prepared they are for online classes. Teachers are
presently left with the challenging task of designing online teaching and assessment strategies for
high school students without any training or guidance on how to do so. The reality is that they
must prepare students not only for their mathematics CSEC examination but also for their math
SBA's. Knowing the teacher's reactions to online teaching will provide an understanding of how
prepared they are for this new way of teaching.
Problem statement
The math department teachers at Mallyapple high school in Southern Belize began their
online teaching on October 5, 2020. These eight teachers have not received any training to
operate online. No one knows how prepared these teachers are in the development and delivery
of teaching strategies, and the designing of online assessment for online teaching, not even the
Minister of Education himself.
Exploring this problem will enable us to understand the strengths and weaknesses teachers
have with executing math lessons online. Also, it will provide an insight into how prepared they
are and ways they can improve the delivery of mathematics content online for students to make it
more meaningful, user-friendly, and engaging for them. This study will address the reactions of
teachers towards these areas in online teaching.
A colleague of mine is the Head of the Mathematics Department at the school. He stated
that teachers are having a challenging time determining which online strategies to use when
teaching mathematics content that require a more practical example. He also stated that teachers
are having trouble assessing the accuracy of students' work due to the mere fact that they cannot
tell whether it's the child who is doing the work or someone else.
The Illinois Online Network (2005) heeded that “effective online instruction depends on
learning experiences appropriately designed and facilitated by knowledgeable educators".
Finding effective techniques to assess student learning in online courses has received increased
attention but has not yet been thoroughly addressed. However, online assessment also requires a
more ongoing, systematic approach than that used with traditional instruction (Robles and
Braathen 2002).
Purpose of study
The purpose of the study is to explore the math department teacher’s reactions to
designing online teaching and assessment strategies for high school students. The research
questions that help to guide the research are:
RQ1: What are the reactions of Mathematics teachers from a high school in southern
Belize towards the development and delivery of teaching strategies for online
RQ2: What are the reactions of Mathematics teachers from a high school in southern
Belize towards designing assessment strategies for online teaching?
1. Participants may not be good at verbally expressing themselves.
2. Participants may not share their real feelings but tell you what you want to hear.
3. Biasness when interpreting data thus it is important for participants to reread the
transcription and to indicate whether they agree that the researcher captured an accurate
picture of what they meant during the interview.
Significance of study
The study will help to identify the weaknesses and strengths of teachers in designing
online teaching strategies and assessments for teaching mathematics. The research will help to
improve their performances in these areas by having them recognize their level of knowledge
and skills in teaching online.
Definition of terms
Online teaching
Teaching strategies
Assessment strategies
Systematics approach
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