Wednesday, 5 Sep 2018

New learning for maths teachers improves results for primary students

A maths program puts primary school students two months ahead of their peers, according to the results of an independent randomised controlled trial.

A maths program developed by the South Australian Department for Education is putting primary school students two months ahead of their peers, according to the results of an independent randomised controlled trial commissioned by Evidence for Learning and conducted by ACER.

The Thinking Maths program is a professional learning program for Years 6-9 maths teachers to improve middle school students’ maths learning.

This trial is one of the largest randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in education in Australia with 7068 students and 158 schools, most of which were located in metropolitan (63%) and rural (30%) areas of South Australia. The cost of the Thinking Maths program is estimated at $149 AUD per student per year, which also makes it very low cost to implement in schools.

Dr Hilary Hollingsworth, Principal Research Fellow at ACER, who led and conducted the trial said, ‘We know that building an evidence-base is critical to identifying what really works in education. Working closely with the South Australia Department for Education to conduct this rigorous randomised controlled trial, ACER has contributed reliable and useful evidence about teacher professional learning and factors that support improved student learning outcomes in mathematics.’

Read more about the evaluation.