Mathematics Enhancement Project: professional development research

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Funding year: 
2004
Duration:
2 years
Organisation: 
Auckland UniServices
Sector: 
School sector
Project start date: 
January 2004
Project end date: 
January 2006
Principal investigator(s): 
Associate Professor Bill Barton
Research team members: 
Dr Hannah Bartholomew, Barbara Kensington-Miller, Viliami Latu, Garry Nathan, and Judy Paterson, University of Auckland
Research partners: 
27 teacher-researchers

Project Description

This project on professional development was conducted within the context of the Mathematics Enhancement Project. The Mathematics Enhancement Project involves the Mathematics Education Unit of the Department of Mathematics, University of Auckland, working with senior mathematics teachers in low-decile secondary schools in the Manukau region. The intention is to create a mode of professional development for these schools that can be used elsewhere in New Zealand, that is realistic in terms of cost and resource input, and that will increase the participation of students in tertiary education courses with mathematical requirements.

This project was situated in the teacher development component of the Mathematics Enhancement Project during the years 2004–2005. Our preliminary research had confirmed other studies that professional development of teachers requires their active participation in investigating aspects of their practice in ways that take account of the systemic problems of their particular environment (in this case, low-decile schools). The project, therefore, set out to establish whether and how teacher research could form part of effective professional development.The project involved 27 teacher–researchers and six university–researchers in an ongoing research community that produced quality research on the mathematics learning of their classes. De facto, the 17 research group meetings held during the course of the project, were professional development sites where best mathematics teaching practice was discussed and support given for classroom changes. In the first year, participating teachers were grouped into six predetermined research studies as research partners. In the second year, teachers could choose to be involved in their own classroom-based studies, and a further study was added to the six original ones. The teachers were inducted into critical research processes and thus gained insights into their practice as part of a professional community that included research as part of professional practice. The whole process was researched for its effectiveness as professional development.

Project Outputs

 

2006

Presentations, conferences and workshops

Kensington-Miller, B. (2006). The development of a community of practice and its connection with mentoring in low socio-economic secondary schools in New Zealand. In P. Grootenboer, R. Zevenbergen, & M. Chinnappan (Eds.), Identities, cultures and learning spaces: Proceedings of the 29th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group Australasia Inc., vol. 2 (pp. 320-327). Canberra: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.

2005

Presentations, conferences and workshops

Bartholomew, H., Barton, B., Kensington-Miller, B., & Paterson, J. (2005). Mathematics teacher development in low socio-economic areas. Paper presented at the 15th ICMI Study on Teacher Development, Brazil, May 2005.

Barton, B., Paterson, J., Kensington-Miller, B., & Bartholomew, H. (2005). Dodging the dragon: Strategies for mathematics professional development in low socio-economic areas. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 4th International Mathematics Education and Society conference, Gold Coast, July 2005.

Kensington-Miller, B. (2005). Mentoring mathematics teachers in low socio-economic schools in New Zealand. In P. Clarkson, A. Downton, D. Gronn, M. Horne, A. McDonough, R. Pierce & A. Roche (Eds.), MERGA 29 Proceedings, Building connections: Research, theory and practice, volume 2 (pp. 459-466).  Melbourne: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Kerr, S. (2005). Whole class discussion about mathematics. Unpublished Masters Dissertation, University of Auckland.

Nathan, G. (2005). Students' conceptions of calculus: A study of a group of yr 13 and first year university mathematics students. Unpublished Masters thesis, University of Auckland.

Paterson, J. (2005). Flicking the switch: Using mathematics to reconnect mathematics teachers with their learner selves. Proceedings of the Fifth Southern Hemisphere Symposium on Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics Teaching and Learning (pp. 103-116). Kingfisher DELTA-05, Fraser Island, Australia, November 2005..

2004

Presentations, conferences and workshops

Kensington-Miller, B. (2004). Professional development of mathematics teachers in low socio-economic secondary schools in New Zealand. In D. Putt, R. Faragher, & M. McLean (Eds.), Mathematics education for the third millennium: Towards 2010. Proceedings of the 27th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group Australasia Inc., vol. 2 (pp. 320-327). Townsville: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.

Latu, V. (2004). Language factors that affect mathematics teaching and learning of Pasifika students. Unpublished Masters dissertation, University of Auckland.

Latu, V. (2004). Language factors that affect mathematics teaching and learning of Pasifika students. In P. Clarkson, A. Downton, D. Gronn, M. Horne, & A. McDonough (Eds.), Building connections: Research theory and practice. Proceedings of the 28th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (pp. 483-490). Melbourne: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australia.