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Maori maths students make impressive gains

Maori maths students make impressive gains

More than 360 primary school students in MÃori immersion classrooms made impressive gains in mathematics in late 2002 thanks to new help for teachers, according to research out today.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard and Associate Education Minister Parekura Horomia released the evaluation of Te Poutama Tau - a new professional development project in numeracy for teachers in Maori immersion classrooms. The project involved 12 facilitators, 42 schools, 97 teachers and 949 children around New Zealand. It was evaluated by Massey Universityâ?Ts Dr Ian Christensen. Part of the research looked at the achievement results of 364 of the children.

â?oThe independent researcher tells us â?~impressive gainsâ?T were made over the duration of the project, significantly greater than what might be expected to occur naturally over time,â?� Trevor Mallard and Parekura Horomia said.

â?oAssessment of the years one to eight students showed most had progressed by almost a whole step in all but one aspect of the Number Framework.

â?oThe research found that the â?~large majorityâ?T of the teachers reported feeling more confident and competent in teaching mathematics.

â?oThis Government is intent on improving numeracy skills of Maori students as part of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy.

â?oSo itâ?Ts great we have a programme that is showing such positive results. This work is also important for the revitalisation of Maori language. By 2005 we expect that most teachers in Maori immersion will have taken advantage of Te Poutama Tau,â?� the ministers said.

Te Poutama Tau uses bi-lingual teacher resource materials and was set up in response to demand from teachers in Maori medium education."

Project facilitators will be this year be placing greater emphasis on the one mathematics area where, according to the research, gains were not made - known as grouping and place value, ministers said.

A copy of the research is available on http://www.tki.org.nz/e/maths

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