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Media release – Improving primary mathematics teaching

13 May 2016

Improvements to how future primary teachers learn to teach maths have been recommended in a Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) report.

The Learning to Teach Primary Mathematics report outlines the findings of a comprehensive review of 46 primary education degrees.

The report recommends a whole of profession response to improving primary maths teaching. The report’s 15 recommendations include:

  • identifying knowledge, practices and developing new resources for effective primary maths teaching
  • strengthening accreditation requirements for preparing primary teachers to teach maths
  • greater maths teaching support for early career primary teachers
  • greater consistency in the assessment of primary teaching students’ knowledge of maths teaching.

BOSTES President Tom Alegounarias said getting maths teaching right in primary school is fundamental to building student confidence and interest in studying higher levels of mathematics in secondary school.

“The Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli has instructed BOSTES to start work today on implementing the review recommendations, which complement the Government’s recent announcement of maths and science specialisations for primary school teachers.

“The education sectors and 14 higher education providers worked closely with us to produce this report. I acknowledge the collaborative approach and spirit of improvement underpinning their participation and look forward to continuing to work together to implement the report’s recommendations,” Mr Alegounarias said.

Professor Chris Davison, President of the NSW Council of Deans of Education said the Deans are pleased to support the report and its recommendations. This is part of the continuing and systematic effort to improve teaching quality, particularly in areas of identified need such as mathematics, a challenging but critical area for schools as well as for society.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with BOSTES to ensure we maximise support in this area for both new and existing teachers.”

Part of the ‘Quality of Initial Teacher Education in NSW’ series, the report can be downloaded from www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au

NSW already requires a minimum of three HSC Band 5s including English to enter a teaching degree and that teaching students pass a literacy and numeracy test before they can teach.