Lifting the quality and effectiveness of mathematics education provision in English-medium schools in Aotearoa New Zealand

What will it take?




Mathematics education in English-medium schools in Aotearoa New Zealand currently reproduces inequity. There is widespread concern about overall levels of student achievement and who participates and who succeeds. Rapid, and accelerating, social and technological change impacts what students need to know in mathematics and statistics and increases its significance. There are fundamental debates about how mathematics education should respond to inequity and rapid change. Content and pedagogy are both contested spaces. Research in mathematics education tends to exacerbate rather than resolve this contestation. In this cacophony it is hard to hear marginalised voices and yet these groups are the most impacted by current practices. Mathematics education is entwined with other curriculum areas and has far-reaching consequences; therefore, policy has to treat improving system performance as a complex problem requiring intervention at multiple levels to achieve equitable outcomes for students.


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Author Biography

Fiona Ell, University of Auckland

Fiona Ell is an Associate Professor at Te Kura Akoranga me te Tauwhiro Tangata at Waipapa Taumata Rau (University of Auckland). She began working in education as a primary school teacher. Her fundamental research interest is in how people learn new things, be that young people or adults, and in particular, how they learn mathematics and statistics – or how they learn to teach mathematics and statistics. Fiona has been involved in the mathematics and statistics curriculum refresh project in 2022. Fiona’s recent research includes working with teams who are exploring Pacific senior mathematics and statistics students’ voices about their learning, inclusion in primary mathematics, and mathematics classroom discourse patterns. She also works on projects looking at how to make teacher education more effective.


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