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Help For Maths Teachers Produces Exciting Results

23 April 2001

Help For Maths Teachers Produces “Exciting Results”

Research shows that a 2001 programme to help primary school teachers with their mathematics teaching has produced impressive results.

The Early Numeracy Project involved 450 schools, 2000 teachers and 40,000 students.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard has released a report on the project written by Dunedin researchers Dr Gill Thomas and Jenny Ward.

“The exciting results are that the greatest gains were made by the children who most needed to improve their maths….and that improvements were made by all children regardless of where they live, their ethnicity or the decile of their school,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Students in the 450 project schools made ‘significantly higher gains’ in their maths learning (one whole stage of the Stages of Early Arithmetic Learning scale) than would have been expected of students not in the project.”

Trevor Mallard said that the numeracy teacher development programme had succeeded beyond expectation.

“In view of this, we’re making the programme available to every teacher of year one to three children, and we’ve told the people who train teachers that all their graduates in 2003 should be familiar with it.”

Teachers reported that they liked the programme, and 70 per cent of those in the project said they had more confidence and enthusiasm for mathematics because of what they had learnt. 80 per cent of the teachers surveyed said that their knowledge of maths had been developed by the Early Numeracy Project.

“When you put these results alongside last year’s report on reading from the National Education Monitoring Project, you can see how effective overall the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy is proving,” Trevor Mallard said.

The 2001 NEMP report showed substantial gains in literacy by eight year olds.

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