> Commitment I

Whole of site commitment I

Leader Story

Gaynor Steele and Marie Wright
Noarlunga Downs Primary School
Noarlunga Cluster

The cluster story: (school) curriculum change, pedagogy, content and teacher practice to improve mathematical learning for Aboriginal students...

2009: Our original inquiry was to build numeracy language and mathematical thinking through using the previously successful scaffolded pedagogy of Accelerated Literacy to accelerate numeracy for Aboriginal students.

  • consistent and supportive lesson routines and structures
  • learning within “the zone of proximal development”
  • each lesson with a learning and behaviour goal
  • one hour of uninterrupted maths per day, four days per week
  • scaffolding students in the language of numeracy
  • developing a whole of site agreement
  • focus on Year 3-5 students and their teachers
  • focus on the number strand only for manageability.

2010–Phase 1

Very quickly we found there were not enough Aboriginal children in this cohort across our cluster and not enough teachers willing to participate in the trial to make it a viable research proejct. Early lessons were very good literacy lessons using the language of maths but were maths content poor.

Because our inquiry focussed on pedagogy and the explicit teaching of maths we struggled with how to include cultural competencies work with our teachers. Now we understand that our pedagogy uses a process that is culturally responsive. Our scaffolded approach of multiple iterations of the stages of the learning helps students who have been absent to ‘catch up’. Mathematics lessons are about maths and are not diluted by the cultural competency debate. The utilisation of the concrete materials, questioning, discussion and meaning making allows all children to participate at their own rate and the teacher to assess their understanding in the process as it occurs. Our critical friend challenged us to think about efficiency in mathematics and questioning students so they understand what ‘good’ mathematicians do and how they think about maths...


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Whole of site commitment 1

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