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Pedagogies to support Indigenous students’ mathematics learning in rural and remote Queensland classrooms

Publication Date
  • 130208 Mathematics And Numeracy Curriculum And Pedagogy
  • 130301 Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Education
  • Pedagogy
  • Indigenous Students
  • Mathematics Learning
  • Remote And Rural Areas
  • Teachers’ Mathematics Knowledge
  • Classroom Practices
  • Pedagogical Approaches
  • Non
  • Indigenous Teachers Culturally Inclusive Curriculum
  • Social Capital
  • Cultural Bias
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Mathematics


This paper explores pedagogies that support Indigenous students learning of mathematics. Three schools in a remote and rural area of Queensland participated in a longitudinal intervention study, extending over a three-year period (2002-4), which aimed to improve Indigenous students' mathematics outcomes by improving their teachers' knowledge and classroom practices. This paper reports on one aspect of the project, namely the pedagogical approaches used by their non-Indigenous teachers before intervention. Results are related to Harris (1980) and indicate that many of the common classroom practices believed to forward mathematics outcomes for Indigenous students simply reflect 'good' mathematics pedagogy for all. The dimensions that were distinctive but absent in these communities were an acknowledgement of the different knowledges of these culturally different students, the nuances and social capital associated with Indigenous English, and the role that parents, care-givers and the community itself plays in young Indigenous students’ mathematical education. It is conjectured that this could be a result of the inexperience of the teachers in such communities and/or the predominant white view of education prevalent in these three schools.

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