Developing communities of mathematical inquiry

Publication Details

Case 1, ‘Developing communities of mathematical inquiry’, illustrates how two teachers developed teaching practices that were highly effective for diverse learners. The case focuses on how these teachers accelerated the mathematics achievement of their year 4 to 6 students, most of whom were Māori or Pasifika.

Author(s): Ministry of Education

Date Published: Released on Education Counts March 2011

BES (Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis) Programme
This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box or visit the BES (Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis) Programme.

Section 4: Other Resources

  • Anthony, G. & Walshaw, M. (2006). Numeracy practices and change. Final Report, Teaching and Learning Research Initiative Project. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.
  • Anthony, G. & Walshaw, M. (2007). Effective pedagogy in mathematics/pāngarau: Best evidence synthesis iteration. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education. (See Chapter 4, Mathematical communities of practice) Further hard copies of this BES are available from Orders@TheChair Mailbox
  • Anthony, G. & Walshaw, M. (2009). Effective pedagogy in mathematics: Educational practices series, 19. International Academy of Education, International Bureau of Education & UNESCO. Available online from the UNESCO website.
  • Anthony, G. & Walshaw, M. (2009). Te ako pāngarau whaihua: Educational practices series, 19. International Academy of Education, International Bureau of Education & UNESCO.
  • Boaler, J. (2008). Promoting 'relational equity' and high mathematics achievement through an innovative mixed-ability approach. British Educational Research Journal, 34(2), 167–194.
  • Carpenter, T., Romberg, T. A., Carpenter, S., Dremock, F., Madison, T., Rueda, E., Smetzer-Anderson, S., & Wagner, L. (Producers) (2004). Powerful practices in mathematics & science (DVD). Wisconsin: Learning Point Associates.
  • Chapin, S. H. & O'Connor, C. (2007). Academically productive talk: Supporting students' learning in mathematics. In W. G. Martin, M. Strutchens, & P. Elliot (Eds.), The learning of mathematics (pp. 113–139). Reston, VA: NCTM.
  • Hunter, R. (2005). Reforming communication in the classroom: One teacher's journey of change. In P. Clarkson, A. Downton, D. Gronn, M. Horne, A. McDonagh, R. Pierce, & A. Roche (Eds.), Building connections: Research, theory and practice (Proceedings of the 28th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Vol. 2, pp. 451–458). Sydney: MERGA.
  • Hunter, R. (2006). Structuring the talk towards mathematical inquiry. In P. Grootenboer, R. Zevenbergen, & M. Chinnappan (Eds.), Identities, cultures and learning spaces (Proceedings of the 29th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Vol. 1, pp. 309–317). Sydney. MERGA.
  • Hunter, R., & Anthony, G. (2010). Developing mathematical inquiry and argumentation. In R. Averill & R. Harvey (Eds.), Teaching primary school mathematics and statistics: Evidence-based practice, pp. 197–206. Wellington: NZCER Press.
  • Jacobs, V. & Ambrose, R. (2008). Making the most of story problems. Teaching Children Mathematics, 15, 260–266.
  • Kazemi, E. & Stipek, D. (2001). Promoting conceptual thinking in four upper-elementary mathematics classrooms. The Elementary School Journal, 102(1), 59–80.
  • Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat (forthcoming). Communication in the mathematics classroom. (Capability Building Series. Secretariat special edition No. 13. 1–8). Ontario, CA: Ministry of Education.
  • Mercer, N, & Sams, C. (2006). Teaching children how to use language to solve maths problems. Language and Education, 20(6), 507–28.
  • Ministry of Education (2009). Learning through talk: Oral language in years 4 to 8. Learning Media: Wellington. On page 70 of this Ministry document, there is a case study of how to develop oral language.Stein, M. K. (2007). Let's talk. Mathematics Teacher, 101(4), 285–289.
  • New Zealand Maths website.
  • Stein, M. K., Engle, R. A., Smith, M. S., & Hughes, E. K. (2008). Orchestrating productive mathematical discussions: Five practices for helping teachers move beyond show and tell. Mathematical Thinking & Learning, 10(4), 313–340.
  • White, D. (2003). Promoting productive mathematical classroom discourse. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 22, 37–53.
  • Yackel, E. (2001). Explanation, justification and argumentation in mathematics classrooms. In M. van den Heuvel-Panhuizen (Ed.), Proceedings of the 25th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 1, pp. 1–9). Utrecht: PME.


Best Evidence Synthesis Programme (BES)
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Hard copies are still available for New Zealand educators via: Orders@TheChair Mailbox.