Leading mathematics teaching program moves mainstream

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A QUT-led teaching method designed to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ learning of mathematics is seeing success in a diverse range of schools.

The YuMi Deadly Maths method is now used in projects in more than 200 schools nationally and in Thailand.

YuMi Deadly Maths was developed nearly five years ago by staff at QUT’s Faculty of Education.

Professor of Mathematics Education and Director of the YuMi Deadly Centre in QUT’s School of Curriculum, Tom Cooper, said it provided Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with a more active and hands on approach to learning.

“It relates mathematics to their culture and interests, and builds mathematics in terms of big ideas,” Professor Cooper said.

“It enhances engagement in maths and therefore improves attendance.”

Professor Cooper said the program’s success in improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students’ performance has been translated into mainstream primary and secondary schools, particularly low socio-economic schools.

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He said YuMi Deadly Maths did not limit mathematic concepts taught but rather built upon them by involving communities and relating to local cultures.

Professor Cooper said the approach had been used with success in Special Education, secondary schools and attracted interest from non-state schools.

“We have widened the scope of the projects to include a focus on accelerating learning for underperforming students and on enriching and extending mathematics teaching to improve participation in Year 11 and 12 to gain university entrance,” he said.

He said mathematical competence was required to successfully participate in everyday 21st century life.

(Source: Queensland University of Technology)

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Date Created: November 15, 2014