University of Bayreuth launches first Bavarian pilot project for sustainable support of secondary school pupils with numeracy difficulties
University of Bayreuth, Press Release No 127/2021 14 September 2021
In future, pupils in Bavaria are to be provided substantial help in overcoming dyscalculia in secondary school through targeted support. The Bavarian Ministry of Education has commissioned the University of Bayreuth (UBT) to train teachers at secondary schools in this special support in a pilot project precisely because it can draw on decades of experience with projects promoting the development of teaching. The teacher training courses will start in September, and the courses for pupils will start in February 2022.
The Bavarian Ministry of Education has commissioned the University of Bayreuth to train teachers at secondary schools in supporting pupils with dyscaculia. © iStock
"If children and teenagers who struggle in arithmetic do not receive specific support, they not only have problems with arithmetic at primary school level, but are also substantially prevented from achieving the diverse goals of mathematics teaching at secondary level," explains Prof. Dr Ulm, mathematics didactician and Head of the Centre for Teacher Education at the University of Bayreuth. He says: "You cannot draw a razor-sharp line between when a pupil is weak in arithmetic and when he or she is not, because arithmetic is a very complex cognitive process. Drawing conclusions from research in medicine and mathematics didactics, however, it can be stated on the basis of the specialist literature that approximately five per cent of pupils in primary school are weak in arithmetic. In absolute numbers, this is about one child per class. So among 100,000 pupils per grade in Bavaria, there are 5,000 children with numeracy deficiencies." Targeted support even after fourth grade - as the University of Bayreuth and the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs are now making possible through further training for teachers - thus creates the conditions for pupils to be successful in secondary school. The University of Bayreuth’s training for teachers focuses on the differentiated, individual support of pupils.
The school network of the pilot project, which is now starting, comprises 20 schools, five Mittelschulen (secondary modern schools) each in Lower and Middle Franconia, plus five Realschulen (secondary schools), and five Gymnasien (grammar schools) in Upper Franconia. Starting in February 2022, these schools will offer remedial education for pupils with math difficulties from their own school in grade 5. In order for teachers at these schools to develop expertise in the area of dyscalculia diagnostics and support, they will receive special training at the University of Bayreuth and become "support experts for students with dyscalculia".
These schools are taking part:
Sinntalschule Wildflecken – Mittelschule, Frieden-Mittelschule Schweinfurt, Mittelschule Kitzingen-Siedlung, Pestalozzi-Mittelschule Würzburg, Mittelschule Hösbach, Mittelschule Nürnberg - Hummelsteiner Weg, Luitpoldschule Ansbach Mittelschule West, Mittelschule Baiersdorf, Mittelschule Fürth - Kiderlinstraße, Mittelschule Hilpoltstein, Staatliche Realschule Bad Staffelstein, Johannes-Kepler-Realschule Bayreuth II, Georg-Hartmann-Realschule Forchheim, Staatliche Realschule Marktredwitz, Sigmund-Wann-Realschule Wunsiedel, E.T.A. Hoffmann-Gymnasium Bamberg, Gymnasium Ernestinum Coburg, Frankenwald-Gymnasium Kronach, Gymnasium Christian-Ernestinum Bayreuth, Schiller-Gymnasium Hof.
StRin Dr. Annalisa Steinecke
D - 95448 Bayreuth
Prof. Dr. Volker Ulm
Mathematics & Didactics
Centre for Teacher Education
University of Bayreuth
University of Bayreuth
Phone: +49 (0) 921 / 55-5300