Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities:

10 Learning for life

Padma Krishnan, Deputy Director of Southern Cross Campus Junior School explains that one important outcome of DMIC is that the children now have a lot more power over their own learning. Also, because maths problems are set in contexts that have meaning for the children they understand them better and can discuss them. Maths has become real. The children have accepted greater agency in their own learning.

Key Content

A number of Southern Cross children explain why they are now so excited about maths.

Evidence in Action

In this video we see that:

  • setting maths in meaningful contexts is a key to engagement, understanding and agency
  • children like to have agency in their own learning
  • working on 'real' problems builds agency.

This reinforces the crucial importance of good problem design and teaching children how to work productively in collaborative, mixed-ability groups.
Speaking of their experience of DMIC maths, the children say:

  • working on problems that are situated in real life is a good way to learn about life
  • it's great to have opportunities to do your own thinking and come up with your own strategies
  • it's great to be challenged
  • sharing thinking gives you opportunities to learn from others
  • mistakes are opportunities for learning.

Effective implementation of DMIC gives students confidence in their ability to do challenging mathematics.

Key Evidence Informing Action - References

Specialist providers and 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.

DMIC Videos

  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. Moll L., Amanti C., Neff D. & González N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: Using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into Practice. 31:132-41.