Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Challenging the status quo

To kick off our whole school PD for 2018, Dr Bobbie Hunter shared her research and expertise on Developing Mathematical Inquiry in a Learning Community (DMIC).

The latest data quoted by Bobbie reveal that only 26% of Māori students and 11% of Pasifika are achieving curriculum standards at Year 8.  Consequently, when students are not achieving at this level, it is difficult for them to engage with or achieve at Maths in college.  She put forward various reasons why this comes to pass: deficit theorising on the part of both teachers and students; a mismatch of Pasifika values and teacher values; barriers created through levelled ability groupings; and the lack of value given to Maths by students because they don't see how school maths relates to the real word and life after school.

According to Bobbie, we can address these alarming statistics by adopting into our practice the DMIC approach to teaching and learning in Maths: high expectations within an inclusive, culturally-responsive learning environment;  co-constructing Maths inquiry learning in social groupings; connecting rich mathematical thinking and reasoning with worthwhile tasks through explicit and expertly-framed mathematical practices.

To embark on a way forward, Bobbie began by unpacking the values central to Pasifika culture:

How do these match our own values?  In what respect do these differ from our own values?  What do we understand by the notion of service in a Pasifika context?  How does current Maths teaching and learning in our classes connect with DMIC?

As we launch into a new academic year, challenging the status quo in Maths presents itself as a goal for Teaching As Inquiry and a path to accelerating achievement.  I’m so looking forward to our future PD sessions with Dr Bobbie Hunter and dipping my toes into her DMIC sandbox to support this teaching and learning journey.

1 comment:

  1. I was so disappointed to miss this session Jackie so thanks for the post. This sounds like an approach that will be fun for the teacher as well as the learners. I'll be keeping an eye on your sandbox :)