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Empirical evidence of the success of the Nerang Cluster Make it Count project differs from one school to the next within the Cluster; however, there have been mutual and compelling experiences that underline its positive influence in improving mathematical learning outcomes for students. 


Student confidence

Across all schools the evidence was clear that student confidence in working mathematically improved.  This has been noted in students demonstrating higher levels of self-directed learning and deep thinking in mathematics.  Students also showed a greater willingness to engage in mathematical problem solving tasks.  It has been observed that students are now more likely to appreciate and value mathematical discernment as being culturally relevant.  These cognitive augmentations have led to improved grades in mathematics for many students.


Professional growth in teachers

Another undeniable outcome of the project is the professional growth in teachers.  The implementation of new ways of learning such as the 8ways of Learning (NSW DET) has influenced how teachers plan their lessons.  Teachers are now more attuned to the power of collaboration as a key dimension to improving learning outcomes for students. 

Teachers are more culturally sensitive and knowledgeable than before.  Curriculum design now takes into consideration the integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait tradition, culture and history. There is no doubt that teachers are better the collegial sharing of data, identifying needs together and cooperating in the design of modification, adjustment, extension and acceleration assessment tasks.


Leading from the middle

One of the key focus areas for the Nerang Cluster was to build capacity in middle leaders and key teachers as catalysts for improving the quality of teaching in maths classrooms. 

After four years it is abundantly clear that a shift of sorts has happened in how middle leaders and key teachers perceive how they do their job.  Whereas in the past there was an understanding that they had an administrative role to ensure their department/year level was adherent to process and procedure, they now have a renewed realization that they can influence teacher quality significantly. 

In fact in some schools the leadership agenda has shifted in emphasis from the role of administrator to the role of learning facilitator.