Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities


Children from Otumoetai Intermediate and Southern Cross Campus Junior School discuss different aspects of DMIC that enable them to learn effectively.

11 LEARNING TOGETHER from BES Programme on Vimeo.

Key Content

The collective message is that working cooperatively can greatly extend opportunities to learn – through listening to others, getting them to clarify their thinking/explanations, and by sharing your own thinking.

Evidence in Action

The children who feature in this video share these observations from their experience in DMIC classrooms:

  • Working in mixed ability groups exposes you to a variety of possible approaches, gives you choices
  • Listening to other people's ideas and reflecting on your own ideas are important for learning
  • Sharing your thinking with others is worthwhile for you, too
  • The 'talk moves' are a useful means for supporting group members to share and clarify their thinking
  • We like being able to take over some of the role that teachers have traditionally had
  • We can ask other students (not just the teacher) questions.

Key Evidence Informing Action - References

Specialist providers, principals and teachers working in New Zealand schools and early childhood services, as well as the New Zealand Ministry of Education and central government education agency staff, can contact the Ministry of Education Library for access to the key evidence. For anyone else requiring this material, you can contact your institution or local public library.

  1. Alton-Lee, A. (2003). Quality teaching for diverse students in schooling: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration (BES). Wellington: Ministry of Education.
  2. Alton-Lee, A., Hunter, R., Sinnema, C., & Pulegatoa-Diggins, C. (2012, April). BES Exemplar 1 Ngā Kete Raukura – He Tauira: Developing communities of mathematical inquiry. Wellington: Ministry of Education.
  3. Gervasoni, A., Hunter, R., Bicknell, B., & Sexton, M. (2012). Powerful pedagogical actions in mathematics education. In B. Perry, T. Lowrie, T. Logan, A. MacDonald, & J. Greenlees (Eds.) Research in Mathematics Education in Australasia 2008-2011 (pp. 183-218). The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
  4. Hattie, J (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London, UK: Routledge. Effect size for teaching meta-cognitive strategies d = 0.69
  5. Hunter, J. (2012). Developing teacher understanding of early algebraic concepts using lesson study. In J. Dindyal, L.P. Cheng, & S.F. Ng (Eds.) Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. (pp. 346-353). Adelaide, SA: MERGA.
  6. Hunter, R. (2012). Coming to 'know' mathematics through being scaffolded to 'talk and do' mathematics. International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, pp. 1-12.
  7. Hunter, R. (2008). Do they know what to ask and why? Teachers shifting student questioning from explaining to justifying and generalising reasoning. In O. Figueras, J. Cortina, S. Alatorre, T. Rojano, & A. Sepulveda (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd annual conference of the International group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, (Vol. 3, pp. 201-208). Morelia, Mexico: Cinvestav-UMSNH.
  8. Hunter, R. K., & Anthony, G. (2011). Forging mathematical relationships in inquiry-based classrooms with Pasifika students. Journal of Urban Mathematics Education, 4(1), 98-119.
  9. Hunter, J., & Back, J. (2011). Facilitating sustainable professional learning through lesson study. Mathematics Teacher Education and Development. 13(1), 94-114.

Videos (14)

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