Mathematics PLD with Cognition Education

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Make Mathematics PLD a priority in your school.

Being successful users of mathematics enables ākonga to make sense of their world and provides them with the skills to participate and contribute as global citizens. 

Cognition Education believes ākonga should have access to opportunities to develop their own understanding of rich mathematics and build productive mathematical identities.

Our dedicated Mathematics team work with schools to engage in collaborative inquiry, challenge beliefs and assumptions, and build on the strengths of teachers’ current practice. 

Enhance Mathematics through the National PLD Priorities.

We work alongside leaders and teacher to strengthen their:  

  • mathematical pedagogical and subject content knowledge  
  • formative assessment practices through improving teachers’ capacity to notice, analyse, and respond to ākonga mathematical  thinking
  • collaborative planningco-teach and evaluation of their teaching and the impact on learning 
  • use of technology and tools to enhance mathematics teaching and learning (digital literacy and fluency)  
  • culturally and linguistically diverse teaching strategies and co-design a mathematics curriculum that locates learning within relevant contexts of the learners. 

Our approach to Mathematics PLD

Using The Cognition Way, we support leaders and teachers to evaluate their current practices, capabilities, and collect community voice to make informed choices about culturally and contextually relevant learning approaches for their students 

Engaging in professional learning with Cognition, supports school leaders to evaluate and co-discover the effectiveness of current mathematics teaching practices and co-design a responsive improvement action planThe design of the professional learning solution is co-constructed to meet the needs of the leaders and teachers in your school.

The Cognition Way is also central to supporting you to review and redesign your local mathematics curriculum to ensure all learners engage in contextual and relevant learning across the breadth of mathematics and the wider curriculum. 

Our approach provides sustained professional learning and development where teachers’ strengths are identified and nurtured to accelerate mathematics outcomes for learnersWe promote a collaborative learning environment that can be linked to professional growth cycles ensuring teachers are continuing to develop their practice in alignment with the Standards for the Teaching Profession. 

Our professional development creates learners who:

  • develop positive mathematical identities and agency
  • learn new concepts through engaging with mathematically challenging tasks 
  • value risk-taking and engage in productive struggle as they solve problems
  • confidently share their mathematical ideasjustify their solutions and strategiesand consider the views of others to deepen mathematical understanding
  • use mathematics to investigate, interpret, explain, and make sense of the world around them
  • provide opportunities for students to consolidate their mathematical understandings
  • take ownership of their learning and know what they need to achieve their next learning goal. 

National Contract

Enabling and empowering maths students through ALiM and MST 

What is ALiM and MST?

Since 2012, Cognition Education has been supporting teachers to accelerate learning in mathematics. Our Mathematics facilitators focus Professional Learning and Development on enabling and empowering students. There are two intervention models that we support schools and teachers with, the first is Accelerated Learning in Mathematics (ALiM) and the other is Mathematics Support Teacher (MST).  Both intervention models are driven by inquiry with students at the centre.

The ALiM intervention model is designed for teachers to be solution-focused, consider what they can do, and make changes within their practice to enable the students to achieve success in mathematics learning.

The MST intervention is designed for students with some learning challenges and that need a more in-depth response to interrupt and accelerate the student’s current learning trajectory.

Each year, the Cognition team and mathematics facilitators from the Institute of Professional Learning, Waikato University, support teachers in providing targeted support for nearly 3,000 students. We are proud that the ALIM Intervention has successfully accelerated the learning of the majority of these students with significant gains being made within a 12 to 15 week period.  Not only has their learning accelerated, these students also develop more positive attitudes towards learning and teachers see the impact of this change across all aspects of the students learning.

Table 1: Mathematics achievement gains for ALiM students

Table 2: Mathematics achievement gains for MST students

The two tables show the increased gains in achievement students have made as a result of the intervention support received.

Collective Responsibility

Collaborative inquiry sits at the centre of both interventions.

ALiM and MST continue to evolve into an ever more effective intervention. Adaptation around what works and what doesn’t has come about because teachers are conducting continual inquiry into their own practice. The teachers and school leaders involved don’t see it as a programme that is applied to fix a problem.  As one principal commented, “In the past I think there’s been the tendency to just plug the child into an existing intervention.  We are challenged with what are the child’s needs and how will we create an intervention to meet those needs?”

Another school leader we interviewed said,  “I would just say that every school would find it hugely beneficial to be involved. I think that long term the goal is of course to reduce the number of students who need interventions, and I think that we’re well on the way to getting there.’’

Learning from students is important, as is continuous evaluation. As the teachers design and implement their intervention, they adapt and refine their practice to ensure accelerated student progress occurs.

Teachers are given the tools and support to do something different in their teaching, and to identify and evaluate what works.  In the video, Gemma Lee from Kaiangaroa reflects on the positive effect ALiM had on her own practice.

Gemma-Lee also comments ‘Regardless of whether you are part of ALiM or not you are still going to have some of those students in your class that need extra support and the ALiM intervention and the programme design is perfect for teachers … why would you not scaffold or front load –when you know it works and your students can be successful?’

Why are ALiM and MST working so well?
  • Schools are supported to use their expertise to undertake a short-term inquiry focused on accelerating progress of a group of students
  • Schools deepen inquiry thinking and practice is based on sound evidence.
  • The leadership team alongside the ALiM teacher or MST transfer to other teachers what they have learned through their inquiry.
  • Students develop their identity as successful learners in mathematics, which supports their learning across The New Zealand Curriculum.

Our Board noticed the shift in mathematics data school-wide, and our team leaders all discussed the excellent PD they’ve been getting from Cognition.

Edeh Sullivan

Principal, Clevedon School

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