Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities

Associate Professor Bobbie Hunter joins a Strategic Change Leadership Group (Learning Maths Together) meeting comprising leaders from three Porirua East schools in 2015. This group was established at the outset to optimise implementation of DMIC through cross-school collaboration.



Key Content

Bobbie provides feedback that the three schools have made excellent progress on four critical factors: mixed ability grouping, social norms, cultural context, and eliminating deficit thinking. She then raises 'next steps' issues: repositioning students, gender and status, interplay between leadership and in-class videoing, and development of leaders' pedagogical knowledge. School leaders also raise issues for reflection and joint problem solving.

In these excerpts the issues raised and discussed include:

  • between-school collaboration
  • the importance of focusing collaboration on task design and what makes a good problematic task
  • ensuring teacher aides are also involved in professional learning so that they can support the desired pedagogical changes

It is agreed that the next PLD day will offer a special session for teacher aides.

Evidence in Action

This collaborative leadership strategy was informed by the strategic change leadership model developed in Te Kotahitanga.

This video provides a window into:

  • the interface between external and internal expertise
  • development of pedagogical leadership expertise in principals, deputy principals and teacher leaders
  • productive collaboration across schools
  • what it is to be a learning community (including the importance of listening)
  • respectful problem-solving
  • developing teacher aide knowledge and practice for maximum pedagogical impact.

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.

  1. Alton-Lee, A. (2015). Ka Hikitia – A demonstration report: Effectiveness of Te Kotahitanga phase 5 2010 – 2012. 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. Kia Eke Panuku – Building on Success. (2016). The strategic change leadership team. Voices from the Kia Eke Panuku Team – Leading the change.
  4. Rincon-Gallardo, S. & Fullan, M. (2016). Essential features of effective networks in education, Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 1(1): 5-22.
  5. Robinson, V., Hohepa, M., & Lloyd C. (2009). School leadership and student outcomes: Identifying what works and why: Best evidence synthesis iteration. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education.
  6. Timperley, H., Wilson, A., Barrar, H., & Fung. I. (2007). Teacher professional learning and development: Best evidence synthesis iteration. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education. [See findings on active leadership, maintaining momentum, knowledgeable expertise, unproductive vs productive collaboration].
  7. Kazemi, E. (2015). Formative quality assurance report on BES Stewardship of the Platinum Opportunity: Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities. Porirua East, 2015.
    Seattle: University of Washington.