Swan Cluster Focus


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Describes the Cluster aims, research questions, methodology etc.

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  • 6 more Indigenous people in NSW than in NT Map of Australia with Clusters and key schools 4 years gives it longevity and sustainability Need to be wired into department and not sit on its own
  • Some teacher release but when the funding not there, where’s the sustainability. 6-8 people from each of the Clusters.
  • Swan Cluster Focus

    1. 1. Make It Count Chris Hurst & Len Sparrow, Curtin University
    2. 2. Numeracy, mathematics and urban Indigenous learners
    3. 3.  Document and share effective models of teacher professional development, whole school change and community engagement in relation to mathematics and numeracy  Develop whole school approaches to mathematics and numeracy that result in markedly improved achievement by Indigenous students  Build and participate in networks and professional learning communities  Be a catalyst and support for action by others and influence others on mathematics and numeracy learning of Indigenous students
    4. 4.  Eight diverse Clusters in five states; a Key School in each:  Nerang and Gladstone in Qld  Orange and Hebersham in NSW  Healesville in Vic  Alberton and Noarlunga in SA  Culunga in WA (Culunga, Moorditj & Swan View)  Around 100 Indigenous students in each Cluster  Runs until end of 2012  Work in areas indentified as important by the Cluster  Support from AAMT and others (academics, consultants etc)
    5. 5.  Direct funding to Clusters around $170k each over the project  Some funds held in Cluster; funds for consultants to work with schools and communities held centrally by AAMT  All spending summarized in Cluster Plan  The Make it Count Network Meetings funded centrally
    6. 6.  AAMT will be working intensively with the Clusters (Professional Officer Caty Morris)  Non-school members of the MIC Network will be ‘contracted’ to provide specific support  Other schools and Clusters in MIC  Dare to Lead, WhatWorks and other initiatives  Academic friends
    7. 7.  Community engagement that supports Indigenous students’ learning in mathematics  Professional learning teams in schools and in clusters  Curriculum development  Informing and influencing others
    8. 8.  Develop and ‘stick to’ the Cluster Plans as these evolve  Support and be involved in the evaluation of the project  Contribute to the development of reports and other materials emerging from the work of the project  Take part in the activities of the MIC Network  Willing and able to share their work with others  Be accountable for project funds
    9. 9.  “Aboriginal children bring to these schools a cultural orientation that is not well understood and is often perceived as being deficient”. This is exacerbated by the fact that teachers, most of whom do not come from an Indigenous background, do not fully appreciate the fact that Indigenous children are subject to two quite different sets of family and community expectations. (Perso, 2003)
    10. 10.  Perso (2009) underlined the need for teachers to develop ‘cultural competence’ in order to “... demonstrate behaviours and attitudes that engage, build and maintain relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”  Sullivan (2009) … Students’ prior knowledge and background must be acknowledged and built upon and that teachers need to look at children not only from a ‘mathematical viewpoint’ but also consider their complete socio-cultural background.
    11. 11.  Quinn (2009) “… teacher student relationship is monumentally important”, and success is more likely when the curriculum is relevant and appropriate.  Frigo (1999) ... the need for culturally appropriate content and strategies to reflect the learning needs of Indigenous children ... and ...the complex nature of issues related to language and mathematical learning.  Frigo (1999) “It is crucial that teachers are encouraged to have high expectations for all of their students and therefore of themselves”.
    12. 12.  Parkin and Hayes (2006) ... many Indigenous children were competent with the mathematical processes involved but struggled when problems were embedded in an apparent ‘real-life’ context. This was due to children “... not being able to access the language of maths ” ... and ... “ had no way of interpreting the problem, identifying the mathematical processes and consequently completing the task”
    13. 13.  Indigenous children in Australian schools could be regarded as ESL (English as Second Language) learners. For some of them, the language spoken at home is an Aboriginal dialect or ‘Aboriginal English’, a type of ‘kriol’ language, or a mixture of English and a local dialect.
    14. 14. The Swan Valley Cluster Culunga Aboriginal School  75 Indigenous students K-7 (100%) Moorditj Noongar Community College  130 Indigenous students K-7 (100%) Swan View Primary School  45 Indigenous students K-7 (12%)
    15. 15. Culunga School
    16. 16. Culunga vegetable garden
    17. 17. Culunga environment
    18. 18.  What are the needs of this group of Indigenous children in the learning of mathematics?  What factors have an impact on these children’s mathematics learning?  What factors within the school and community context could be used to enhance children’s learning of mathematics?
    19. 19. An interpretive approach was taken and data were gathered in an attempt to understand the situation in a detailed way. Qualitative data gathering techniques were used in order to gain broad perspectives on the research issues/questions.
    20. 20.  Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a range of school and community personnel, including  Principal  Teaching staff  Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers (AIEO)  School Administrator  Chair of the School Board  A community elder  In addition, the researchers visited classrooms and informally observed teaching in action.
    21. 21. Base-line data about student numeracy and mathematical content knowledge were gathered from  Diagnostic interviews with children in Years 1 to 7 conducted by teacher education students. The interview instrument used was the interview schedule developed in the Early Numeracy Research Project (ENRP).  Students’ achievement on NAPLAN tests  Implementation of First Steps in Mathematics (FSiM) diagnostic tasks
    22. 22. Low and intermittent student attendance rates Low levels of student engagement Low level of parent involvement Low literacy levels Low expectations of students Low numeracy levels
    23. 23. student attendance rates student literacy levels parent involvement student engagement NAPLAN performance expectations for students
    24. 24. 1. Mathematical needs of this group of Indigenous children  Improved NAPLAN performance and ‘test literacy’ ▪ Counting – need for greater flexibility in thinking ▪ Place Value – need for a broader view ▪ Need to have a rich understanding of concepts such as place value, as opposed to knowing procedures ▪ Improved literacy link to numeracy, related to reading and comprehending
    25. 25. 2. Factors impacting on children’s mathematical learning  Level of expectations  Attendance rates  Attention span  Use of manipulatives (hands on)  Contextualising mathematics
    26. 26. 3. Factors within the school context that could enhance learning  Level of parent involvement, distance from home, and access to transport  Family Days  Role of the teacher  Teacher professional learning
    27. 27.  Raise expectations for student learning  Professional development for teaching & support staff  Increase parent involvement in the educational program  Increase student engagement  Target specific aspects of the mathematics curriculum that require development
    28. 28.  P.D. in ‘explicit teaching’ and in the raising of expectations  Staff collaboration across three schools  Sharing of staff expertise across schools  P.D. led by ‘academic friends’  Family Days  FSiM P.D. for teaching staff, EAs, and AIEOs  Resource making workshops – combined across three schools