Quality teaching in Mathematics K - 6: Perspectives on classroom-based research and teacher professional learning in PSFP primary schools

Year: 2004

Author: Johnson, Kerry, Cupitt, Gordon

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper describes classroom-based research undertaken by consultants and teachers in primary schools on the NSW Priority Schools Funding Program (PSFP). The research involved developing and evaluating approaches to enhance effective implementation of the Working Mathematically strand in the Mathematics K - 6 syllabus (NSW DET 2003).

The paper revisits the Co-operative Problem Solving framework (Johnson 2002), which focused on providing students with modeled questions linked to the five Working Mathematically processes. Further, it explores connections between this model and the Quality Teaching in NSW Public Schools discussion paper (NSW DET 2003).

As a result of this work a number of key considerations for teacher professional learning in mathematics have emerged:

• building teacher confidence in and understanding about the nature of mathematical investigations
• identifying and describing "good" pedagogy to support student learning of mathematical processes
• the importance of reflective language in the teaching and learning of mathematics
• the role of the educational consultant in supporting teacher professional learning

The paper provides recommendations that will assist consultants and teachers to focus classroom practice on improved student learning in mathematics. It has particular significance for educators working to narrow the achievement gap for students in targeted equity groups.