Research report

Numeracy, maths and learning difficulties

25 Jul 2009

This article describes a program where postgraduate education students at Flinders University are helping to support young people who struggle with mathematics.

A unit of their course called Numeracy, Mathematics and Learning Difficulties connects each student with a primary school learner in need of special assistance.

The students initially participate in two on-campus lectures/workshops, where they reflect on their past and current numeracy/mathematics understandings and practices. They discuss key issues such as the links between numeracy and mathematics, effective approaches to teaching, and the impact of government policy on the work of teachers.

The students also consider and make use of both formal and informal assessment processes to gather information for, as, and of learning. They learn to administer the Booker Profiles (Booker 1995), a diagnostic tool that helps to identify what a young learner knows and needs to know next in relation to maths. The use of this common assessment tool will also help the students support each others' analyses and planning in a school setting.

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