Join us on Wednesday, 27 March, as we welcome Sarah Powell to CIS to discuss possible sources for declining proficiency of Australian students in mathematics – including what evidence-based teaching looks like in maths and debunking myths and misconceptions about what works best. Sarah will be joined by Toni Hatten-Roberts in this discussion, which will be hosted by Glenn Fahey, the CIS Education Program Director.
Australian students’ results in maths have unfortunately been in decline for the past two decades. Only around one in two Australian 15-year-olds achieves at the national proficient level in maths, according to the latest international test results.
What’s needed is to help maximise the quality of teaching in every classroom. Teachers can and do have a profound impact on their students’ learning progress, but more must be done to provide them with the best possible training and preparation. The evidence shows that a range of strategies generally produce the best results: using “number words” well, presenting maths problems in multiple ways, teaching explicitly, building fluency, doing word-based problems.
So, how can maths teachers help advance the best practices in the classroom? Why do these practice work so well? is the science of learning and what does this mean for maths teaching? Why are there so many misconceptions about what works in the classroom?
Sarah Powell is Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Texas, Austin. She is a leading advocate within the US Science of Math movement, advancing evidence-informed teaching practice. She is co-author of the CIS publications: Myths that interfere with mathematics teaching and Evidence-based teaching in maths.
Toni Hatten-Roberts is an award winning educator and is the director of COGlearn and Executive Director of Education at Mastery Schools Australia. She is also the author of the CIS publication “The Need For Speed: why fluency counts for maths learning.”
Glenn Fahey is Director of Education at the Centre for Independent Studies. He is the author of several CIS publications, including: Starting off on the wrong foot: How to improve Initial Teacher Education in Australia and Failing to teach the teacher: An analysis of mathematics Initial Teacher Education. He provides regular commentary across major newspapers across Australia.