ACU research aims to close the gap in children's mathematics

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

12 September 2008: An academic from Australian Catholic University (ACU) has been awarded more than $300, 000 worth of funding from the Commonwealth Government for a research proposal aimed at improving the development of children's mathematics skills throughout the Cairns, Rockhampton and Toowoomba Catholic Dioceses.

Closing the Gap – Students Experiencing Success (SES) in Mathematics, is led by ACU Professor Elizabeth Warren in partnership with the Queensland Catholic Education Office (QCEO).

The project aims to address educational and social disadvantage by utilising a whole school approach to improve the development of number sense of children in years 3-5 by strengthening their oral language capacity.

Combining the building of school leadership and teacher capacity with the effective use of diagnostic assessments, the pilot program is designed to be easily transferrable to other contexts. 

“The collaborative project will focus on low socio-economic schools where children are experiencing difficulties in reaching national numeracy benchmarks,” said Professor Warren. 

“Our approach is based on the underpinning principles that all students are capable learners, and that good learning activities are engaging, allow for a range of modes of learning including visual, hands on, oral and kinaesthetic modes, are culturally appropriate, allow  all children to experience success, and are challenging for all.”

The project will build students’ capacity to engage in ‘a western test genre’ thus maximising their opportunities to exhibit their numeracy understanding.

Australian Catholic University (ACU) – established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university – is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives.