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Teachers developing knowledge and mathematics classroom practice in remote Indigenous communities

Jacob, L. (2012) Teachers developing knowledge and mathematics classroom practice in remote Indigenous communities. In: 27th Annual Research Forum (Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc) Transforming practice: The value of educational research, 11 August 2012, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Western Australia


In Western Australia, many teachers in remote Indigenous communities are new graduates, and as well as being inexperienced in teaching mathematics, they also have little experience being in a remote community with Indigenous people. In 2010 seven schools in the Kimberley in Western Australia established the Fitzroy Valley Numeracy Project. The project aims to improve the numeracy outcomes of Indigenous students by developing a systematic and coordinated approach to teaching mathematics that can be sustained long-term, beyond staff turnovers, transfer of 'expert' teachers, or one-off funding arrangements. A study was commenced to examine the impact of the project on primary teachers' content-pedagogic knowledge and classroom practice. This presentation examines some preliminary data after almost a year of implementation of the project, in terms of teachers' developing knowledge and classroom practice. At the end of the year they seemed confident to select a mathematics focus, cater for the range of achievement in their classes, monitor student learning and use classroom management strategies. They seemed less confident in diagnosing student learning, making the mathematics focus of the lesson clear to their students and providing activities that engage their students.

Keywords: content-pedagogic knowledge, classroom practice, Indigenous communities

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
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