Collaborative action research in early mathematics education

K. J. Tait, G. M. Boulton-Lewis

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    This is the description of a research project which involved the collaboration of academics and class teachers in an effort to promote enhanced student learning in early mathematics. The sample consisted of 27 children, enrolled in years one to three and their teachers in a suburban school in a low to medium socioeconomic area in Brisbane, Australia. The teachers expressed an interest to the academics in carrying out research into their students' learning of mathematical concepts in collaboration with the academics. The academics offered assistance by way of advice concerning research method, and in class time relief and data analysis. Children were interviewed individually by the class teachers before and after the teaching of a specified concept, in this case place value. Teachers were then interviewed and asked to describe the changes they were to make to their teaching strategies and the most senior of the teachers was questioned on her thoughts on the research process and its application to the classroom. The results show that cooperation between academics and class teachers is an effective procedure for linking theory and practice. If class teachers utilise such an action research approach in their classrooms then they are likely to become self-critical, stimulated to replace less effective teaching practices and promote more effective student learning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-75
    Number of pages11
    JournalThe Australian Educational Researcher
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1993


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