Teachers as researchers improves Maths outcomes for students


The inaugural diocesan secondary Mathematics conference was held at the Novotel in Parramatta on 24 October. The theme of the conference was Teachers as Leaders and brought together academic partners, school and system leaders as well as secondary Mathematics teachers from across the diocese. Workshops were presented by the first cohort of the EM4* secondary Mathematics program.

Teachers as Researchers is an extension of the EM4 program focused on using the classroom environment and learners to investigate and analyse the effectiveness of new teaching practices and theories in Mathematics. Each of the 12 schools in Cohort 1 were asked to explore how the work was making a difference to the learning outcomes of students.

In his keynote address, Professor Peter Sullivan told the audience when it comes to teaching Mathematics there is no one right solution.

‘Learning is about moving from not knowing to knowing,’ Prof Sullivan said. ‘The work of teachers is to create an impression of clarity and success for every child.’

Executive Director Greg Whitby echoed Professor Sullivan’s comments saying that nothing will mark the difference between industrial and contemporary teaching more than teachers as researchers. 

‘Teachers need to be continually learning about how to improve their practice,’ Greg said. ‘The model we will be seeing today is applicable to every teacher across every subject.

‘The concept of teachers as researchers needs to be supported by systems, governments and the wider community to ensure that teachers are able to better understand their practice and its impact on learners in today’s world,’ he said. 

Professor Peter Sullivan was joined by Sue Wilson from the Australian Catholic University (ACT campus) and Professor Kathryn Holmes from Western Sydney University. 

EM4 mathematics was a project that began in 2014 for a cohort of 12 schools in the diocese under the guidance and support of academic partner, Emeritus Professor Peter Sullivan of Monash University.

The project aims at increasing the knowledge and skills of secondary Mathematics teachers around new approaches designed to engage and extend all learners against a backdrop of creating rich and positive mathematical learning environments. 

Posted By Gina Pianta at 25/10/2016 12:49:02 PM

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