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Maths programmes adding up to success

5 August 2005

Maths programmes adding up to success

Programmes to improve the quality of mathematics teaching in our primary and intermediate schools are paying off, an independent evaluation released today shows.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today launched the Findings from the New Zealand Numeracy Development Project 2004 at Balaclava School in Dunedin.

“Significant improvements have been recorded in students’ maths achievement,” said Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

The numeracy development projects were established in 2000 to lift the maths ability of New Zealand students. They include professional development for teachers from years one to eight and better resources for maths teaching.

“The projects have now been evaluated by five research experts and the results are impressive,” said Trevor Mallard. “For example, year seven students in numeracy project schools performed significantly better on a test of algebraic thinking ability than students not involved in the projects. The advantages of these projects are so great that they are putting younger students involved in the projects ahead of slightly older peers who are not involved.

"Another big bonus is that maths teachers report being more confident in their subject as a result of these projects."

Trevor Mallard says that by the end of the year 17,000 teachers and 460,000 students will have been involved in the projects. He noted that all teachers from years one to six and most year seven and eight teachers will have the chance to participate in the projects.

“Labour's vision is that every New Zealander, no matter who they are or where they live, have access to the educational opportunities they need to succeed in life," said Trevor Mallard. "In today’s job market maths really does count. These results show we’re making our students as strong in maths as they can possibly be.

“The improvement by Maori and Pasifika children is particularly pleasing. The gap between the achievements of this group and other groups is reducing significantly." The compendium Findings from the New Zealand Numeracy Development Project 2004 will be available at Te Kete Ipurangi [www.TKI.org.nz/e/community/maths] and at NZMaths

ENDS

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