The changing landscape of one primary school’s mathematics curriculum

Wendy Dent, Jane McChesney


This paper describes a period of substantial changes in the mathematics curriculum of one primary school in Christchurch. Using retrospective analysis, we identified two important conceptual themes: equity of mathematical learning and opportunities for all students to learn to be a mathematician. Access to research about these themes prompted two organisational actions, the elimination of between class streaming and a concentrated professional learning focus on mathematics, that acted as catalysts for major changes. In the first year of these changes, there were significant gains in student assessment data, providing early and encouraging feedback for teachers. During subsequent years, further changes were implemented that illustrated how equity and opportunities to be a mathematician were enduring themes for resourcing and sustaining teachers’ practices.


Mathematics education; curriculum change; equity

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