Improving the teaching of mathematics in Papua New Guinea elementary schools by using local languages and cultural practices
Summary of publication
Improving the teaching of mathematics in Papua New Guinea elementary schools by using local languages and cultural practices is an Australian Development Research Awards Scheme (ADRAS) research, awarded under the last ADRAS round in 2012. A research team from Charles Sturt University and University of Goroko undertook the project from April 2013 – June 2016.
The project developed a model for providing professional learning on mathematics teaching for elementary teachers using students' cultural context, including cultural mathematics and language. The model was developed and trialed during workshops conducted in different languages and environments. The research found that:
- All elementary teachers need education by specialists in early mathematics education through participatory learning.
- Teacher educators need education in mathematics and early childhood.
- Teachers need to recognise cultural mathematics and to grapple with the meaning of mathematics in terms of their local language if they are to think and reason well in mathematics.
- Teachers need to practice preparing and delivering weekly inquiry plans that go from cultural mathematics to go deeper and make connections with school mathematics.
- Media such as videos of quality teaching and assessment are needed and an e-resource provided to all teachers via a solar-battery-computer.