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Research confirms students maths improvements

Wed, 11 Aug 2004

Research confirms students maths improvements

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today released four research reports showing that students' maths skills are improving thanks to the government's Numeracy Development Projects operating in schools from Years 1 to 10.

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"Over the last four years, over 8000 teachers, most of them in primary schools, have been helped to be better at mathematics themselves and to be better maths teachers for their 240,000 students," Trevor Mallard said.

"The numeracy programmes are an important part of our government's commitment to raise students' achievement across the board. We know that internationally our 15 year-olds do perform well - they are fourth in the OECD for numeracy skills - but that there are groups of students who need more help.

"The reports I am releasing today are from some of our top academic maths specialists and they show that the projects are doing exactly what we hoped they would.

"They show that teachers are growing in confidence and expertise and their students are reaping the benefits. It's great to see that all students, regardless of gender, ethnicity and the decile of their school, have been benefiting from the numeracy projects," Trevor Mallard said.

The reports are being released to coincide with our celebration of Maths Week. Teachers, children and parents will be having extra fun and creativity participating in mathematical puzzles, games and activities.

"The week provides an excellent opportunity for the whole community to test their numerical skills."

The reports cover: · Years 0 to 3 (Dr Gill Thomas and colleagues at Dunedin College of Education); · Years 4 to 6 (Dr Joanna Higgins of Wellington College of Education); · Years 7 to 10 (Dr Kay Irwin and associates at the University of Auckland); · Patterns of Performance and Progress in the Numeracy Projects (Dr Jenny Young-Loveridge, University of Waikato)

"Putting the four sets of research findings together shows that at all levels of schooling up to Year 10, better teaching and learning in mathematics has been observed," Trevor Mallard said.

"There have been particular improvements in addition, subtraction and multiplication skills at various levels, and evidence that students in the project have been learning better than those not yet involved.

"So far about 1400 schools have been involved, and the government has approved funding for the next three years to ensure that the majority of other schools and their students can participate."

The reports are available on www.minedu.govt.nz Attached is the list of Numeracy Projects for 2004

ENDS

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