Australian maths teaching champions come together for ground-breaking program

October 05, 2017
At the NSW Champion's workshop in Sydney, one of eight nationally, were (from left) Senator the Hon Marise Payne representing the Minister for Education and Training, Academy Fellow Professor Nalini Joshi, Executive Director of reSolve Dr Steve Thornton, Ms Karen McDaid from the AAMT, and reSolve Champion Ms Shannon Ruskin.

More than 300 mathematics teachers across the country are meeting this month to begin a 12-month journey to become Champions of reSolve: Maths by Inquiry, a new national program designed to transform the way the subject is taught in Australian schools.

A 2015 international assessment measuring 15 year-olds’ ability to use their maths knowledge and skills to meet real life challenges found Australia ranked equal 20th compared to the rest of the world, with Australian achievement in this area on a continuous downward trend since 2003.

The program, an initiative of the Australia Government Department of Education and Training, is managed by the Australian Academy of Science in collaboration with the Australian Association of Mathematics (AAMT). It provides Australian school teachers in Foundation to Year 10 with resources to help students learn mathematics in an innovative and engaging way.

Academy President Professor Andrew Holmes said the workshops, which are being rolled out across the country, mark an important milestone in the program.

“The workshops will provide an opportunity for the Champions to come together, learn from each other, and utilise the excellent reSolve resources,” Professor Holmes said.

“The Academy is delighted with the progress of the reSolve project to date. It has produced teaching and professional learning resources that are innovative, engaging and that promote a spirit of inquiry in school mathematics”.

The President of AAMT, Ms Allason McNamara, said AAMT is proud to partner with Australia’s leading scientific organisation to deliver the Champions element of the reSolve project.

According to Ms McNamara, the reSolve Champions have volunteered to undertake this program because they are committed to sharing their knowledge with colleagues as well as ensuring that all their students enjoy the best mathematics teaching.

AAMT counts among its members thousands of Australia’s leading mathematics teachers and university educators. It has a long history of promoting excellence in mathematics teaching and learning.

Executive Director of reSolve: Maths by Inquiry, Dr Steve Thornton, said the resources have been developed by Australian teachers and academics and informed by world best practice.

“Resources alone do not make the difference. That is why the Champions are such an important part of this project. They will promote the reSolve spirit of inquiry across Australia now and into the future,” Dr Thornton said.

© 2017 Australian Academy of Science

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