The Extending Mathematical Understanding
(EMU) Program is a specialised mathematics program that aims to
accelerate the learning of Grade 1 students who struggle with learning
school mathematics. Forty-two students participated in an EMU Program in
2010 as part of the
Bridging the Numeracy Gap (BTNG) project.
Analysis of students’ mathematics
knowledge at the beginning of the EMU Program highlighted how diverse
was this group of students. The students’ mathematics knowledge was
assessed again at the beginning of the following year in order to
evaluate the effectiveness of the program for accelerating learning.
Overall the students made very good progress and their learning was
Teresa Hadden, Kathie Turkenburg, Kate Bevan, Carole Livesey, Melissa Croswell and Julie Southwell (Ballarat, Sandhurst,
Sale and Western Australia Catholic Education Offices)
Five interpretive place value tasks were added to the Early Numeracy Interview (ENI) to gain further insight about students’ construction of conceptual knowledge associated with 2-digit and 3-digit numbers. The researchers hypothesised that even though some students were successful at reading, writing and ordering numbers, interpreting multi-digit numbers for problem solving remained a struggle for them.
Analyses of students’ responses showed that the new tasks distinguished students who previously were assessed as understanding 2-digit or 3-digit numbers, but who could not identify 50 or 150 on a number line or state the total of collections reduced or increased by ten. The new tasks assist teachers to identify students who need further instruction to fully understand 2-digit and 3-digit numbers.
As part of the Bridging the Numeracy Gap Project, four Catholic schools in the Kimberley appointed Key Aboriginal Teaching Assistants in Numeracy who, along with a classroom teacher from the school, participated in a 6-day professional learning program aimed at developing their mathematics teaching and leadership.
At the end of 2010, audio-taped conversations took place to gain insight about the impact of the Project on learning and teaching mathematics at the school. Analysis of these data demonstrated that Aboriginal Teaching Assistants had clear views about the positive impact of project and of how to improve Aboriginal students' opportunities to learn mathematics at school.
Kathie Turkenburg, Kate Bevan, Carole
Livesey, Deirdre Thompson, Melissa Croswell and Julie Southwell
(Ballarat, Sandhurst, Sale and Western Australia Catholic Education
This paper explores the impact of
the Bridging the Numeracy Gap Project on the whole - number
learning of Prep and Grade 1 students living in a low SES community.
The findings suggest that an approach that includes a specialist mathematics teacher who provides specialised programs for mathematically
vulnerable students, and who works in partnership with classroom
teachers to design individual learning plans, and classroom
mathematics programs that cater for the diverse range of
students’ learning needs, has a positive effect on mathematics
learning and instruction.
Homework is seen by many teachers and parents as a useful strategy to
promote student learning. However, there are persistent voices claiming
that homework is ineffective and should not be used as a teaching and
learning strategy. Using data visualisation techniques, the paper
introduces a taxonomy of homework. In its examination of current debates
about the various forms and functions of homework, this paper draws on
the recently completed comprehensive review of the homework literature
by the Canadian Council of Learning (2009).
A key finding of the Canadian review is that the positive effect of
homework on academic performance can be attributed to two interrelated
factors: (a) highly developed learning-to-learn skills and (b) intrinsic
motivation. In the absence of these personal attributes, homework is
unlikely to be successful in fulfilling its desired outcomes.
Hence, this paper concludes that investing in the teaching and learning
of ‘soft’ skills in formal and informal learning situations is what is
most urgently needed.
Science employs multimodal representation as a set of cultural tools
that facilitate the ‘doing’, knowing and understanding of science. The
use of MMRs in science has evolved over time to reflect the nature of
science. Research has highlighted the need to ‘unlock the potential’ of
effective language use to support enhanced student learning.
How do we approach this challenge? Multimodal representation requires
far more than control over the conventions of language, it requires the
ability to combine and use MMRs appropriately and flexibly in a variety
of contexts. This is the first chapter in the story of how students use
MMRs. The story begins towards the end of school life for a group of students, but generates questions that point to the need for
dialogue between teachers at all levels of students’ schooling. It
provides some tentative suggestions for the kinds of things that
teachers could do to enhance learning through MMR.
Research at CEWA
The Australian Government Quality Teacher Program
L.E.A.D. Project (2010-2013) is an initiative of the Learning and
Teaching Team at Catholic Education Western Australia that
explores processes for leading and managing system-wide change in
education. As part of the first phase of project activities, the
University of Notre Dame Australia was funded to undertake research that
would inform a systematic process for building and sustaining
The L.E.A.D. Project (The Report of the Research Team, School of Education, University of Notre Dame Australia) is the report of the research team from the
University of Notre Dame Australia funded by the Australian Government
Quality Teacher Program. It is a multi-site case study which gathered
data on high performing secondary schools in the Catholic system of
In mid 2010 the School of Education at the University of Notre Dame was
approached by the Catholic Education Office of Western Australia, to
partner them in an Australian Government Quality Teacher Program to
investigate the characteristics of schools achieving high results in the
Tertiary Entrance Examinations (TEE) in the Catholic school system.
Using systemic data from Catholic Education WA (CEWA) the
research aimed to:
- Identify characteristics of successful teaching in the tertiary entrance exam context
Identify cultural characteristics of successful schools
Identify characteristics of leaders in successful schools
Gain evidence and use findings to inform whole school improvement plans in other Catholic schools
Build on the literature in the field.
The data was gathered from 9 secondary schools in the Catholic system.
All Principals and Deputy Pricipals (Curriculum) were interviewed for
the study. Focus groups of Heads of Learning were interviewed, in total
32 Heads of Learning participated.
Focus groups of teachers were interviewed, in total 38 teachers
participated in the interviews. Focus groups of recent past students
were interviewed, in total 26 past students participated in the
interviews. Focus groups of parents were interviewed and 28 parents