Evaluation of the "reconceptualising early mathematics learning" project

Joanne T. Mulligan, Michael C. Mitchelmore, Lyn D. English, Nathan Crevensten

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    The Pattern and Structure Mathematics Awareness Project (PASMAP) has investigated the development of patterning and early algebraic reasoning among 4 to 8 year olds over a series of related studies. We assert that an awareness of mathematical pattern and structure enables mathematical thinking and simple forms of generalisation from an early age. The project aims to promote a strong foundation for mathematical development by focusing on critical, underlying features of mathematics learning. This paper provides an overview of key aspects of the assessment and intervention, and analyses of the impact of PASMAP on students' representation, abstraction and generalisation of mathematical ideas. A purposive sample of four large primary schools, two in Sydney and two in Brisbane, representing 316 students from diverse socio-economic and cultural contexts, participated in the evaluation throughout the 2009 school year and a follow-up assessment in 2010. Two different mathematics programs were implemented: in each school, two Kindergarten teachers implemented the PASMAP and another two implemented their regular program. The study shows that both groups of students made substantial gains on the `I Can Do Maths' assessment and a Pattern and Structure Assessment (PASA) interview, but highly significant differences were found on the latter with PASMAP students outperforming the regular group on PASA scores. Qualitative analysis of students' responses for structural development showed increased levels for the PASMAP students; those categorised as low ability developed improved structural responses over a relatively short period of time.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAnnual Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education
    EditorsJan Wright
    Place of PublicationUniversity of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
    PublisherAustralian Association for Research in Education
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventJoint Australian Association for Research in Education and Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference - Sydney
    Duration: 2 Dec 20126 Dec 2012

    Publication series

    NameAARE 2012 Conference Proceedings
    ISSN (Electronic)1324-9320


    ConferenceJoint Australian Association for Research in Education and Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference


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