New maths podcast a ‘professional development game-changer’

New maths podcast a ‘professional development game-changer’

A new podcast will give teachers access to high-quality, practical professional development with the aim of improving their teaching of maths.

Built on 7,000 hours of teacher PD experience, the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s (AMSI) MATHSTALK podcast features practical tips and advice on the big ideas in mathematics understanding

The resource arrives at a time when schools across Australia are struggling to lift students’ maths outcomes.

Studies show that the proportion of Australian 15-year-olds who are reaching international baseline levels in maths education has fallen significantly over the last decade.

Moreover, research from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) shows that 17% of Year 7-10 maths classes in Australia are taught by an out-of-field teacher, with higher percentages of out-of-field teaching occurring in schools serving low socio-economic and regional and remote areas.

“We’ll be looking at crucial mathematical topics students need to understand for mathematical fluency, as well as approaches to support good problem solving and reasoning skills,” AMSI Outreach Officer and MATHSTALK Producer and Co-host, Nadia Abdelal, said.

Current episodes include Multiplicative Thinking 1 and Fractional Thinking with a third part of this series underway. Further episodes in planning.

AMSI Schools Outreach Officer and MATHSTALK co-host, Marcus Garrett, said the podcast was an exciting opportunity to scale up the impacts of the Choose Maths project’s successful one-on-one teacher outreach.

“This technology makes the benefits of one-on-one professional development and professional and collegial support accessible to all mathematics teachers from early education to end of high-school,” he said.

From major cities to some of the most remote communities in Australia, AMSI's Choose Maths project team has delivered over 7000 hours of professional development to 3000 teachers around Australia. The big winners are the over 58,000 students who have benefited from this transfer of expertise.

AMSI Schools Program Manager and Choose Maths Project Director, Janine Sprakel, said the team developed MATHSTALK to fill a critical gap in resources and remove barriers to professional development such as access and geography.

“Each session’s mix of know-how, content knowledge and pedagogical expertise, means teachers can easily transfer training into classroom practice,” Sprakel said.

“Importantly, it is accessible to educators whether they are located in the city or very remote communities.”