Inclusive Mathematics Teaching: Understanding and developing school and classroom strategies for raising attainment
Welcome to IMaT!
This project aims to strengthen mathematics teaching in Norwegian primary and lower secondary schools, with the specific objective of enhancing problem solving and reasoning skills in students at all levels of attainment, and from all backgrounds. Inclusion through adapted education, designed to meet individual learners’ needs, is a priority in Norway, but national patterns of attainment and international test results suggest that many students do not reach their full potential in mathematics. While various initiatives have been implemented in order to address this situation and to raise attainment in all students, their nature and impact is unclear, and teachers largely continue to use traditional modes of teaching. In the context of a new curriculum emphasis on problem solving and reasoning, and the levels of conceptual understanding that this demands, we need to develop new pedagogic approaches that both challenge and include all students.
The IMaT project addresses the need to make mathematics teaching in Norway more inclusive by:
- Surveying schools across Norway to find out more about how they organise education in mathematics, and the impact of different strategies on student outcomes;
- Surveying and interviewing school leaders, teachers and students to find out about their experience of mathematics teaching;
- Working with a group of schools and municipalities to understand their processes of decision-making about how teaching is organised;
- Looking closely at classrooms in those schools to understand teachers’ practice, and how students engage with mathematics;
- Developing and evaluating an intervention based on Realistic Mathematics Education, known for its positive impact on attainment and engagement across the range of ages and abilities.
Aware of the potential barriers to innovation and change presented by management and systemic constraints, we will interact with teachers, school managers and municipalities in our study of the current practices and challenges of adapted education in mathematics at both school and classroom levels. We will actively engage with them in the design and implementation of a sustainable professional development programme towards inclusive mathematics teaching, based on established work in curriculum and pedagogy across the project team, and drawing on Realistic Mathematics Education approaches.
The project will collect data over a period of two and a half years, focusing on practice in grades 5-10.
The project has five work packages, and involves a team of sociologists of education, mathematics education specialists, teacher educators, curriculum materials designers, educational researchers and statisticians.