Num­bers add up for Mar­ian teacher

Alpine Observer - - What’s On -

MYRTLE­FORD Mar­ian Col­lege teacher An­drea Skahill has been se­lected as an Aus­tralian math­e­mat­ics teach­ing cham­pion for her com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing the nu­mer­acy skills of stu­dents.

Ms Skahill is one of 300 teach­ers na­tion-wide that will help trans­form the teach­ing of math­e­mat­ics in Aus­tralian schools as part of the re­Solve: Maths by In­quiry pro­gram.

The Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing ini­tia­tive, man­aged by the Aus­tralian Academy of Sci­ence in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Aus­tralian As­so­ci­a­tion of Math­e­mat­ics Teach­ers, pro­vides Aus­tralian schools in Foun­da­tion to Year 10 with re­sources to help stu­dents learn math­e­mat­ics in an in­no­va­tive and en­gag­ing way.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of re­Solve: Maths by In­quiry, Dr Steve Thorn­ton, said Ms Skahill had been se­lected be­cause of her ded­i­ca­tion to en­sur­ing stu­dents have the best pos­si­ble math­e­mat­ics ed­u­ca­tion and com­mit­ment to shar­ing knowl­edge with col­leagues.

“We are de­lighted that so many pas­sion­ate and com­mit­ted teach­ers want to be part of this ex­cit­ing ini­tia­tive and are ea­ger to take the work of the re­Solve team across Aus­tralia now and into the fu­ture,” he said.

“In her role as a cham­pion of re­Solve Ms Skahill will work with col­leagues at Mar­ian Col­lege and in the re­gion to trial re­Solve re­sources, con­duct pro­fes­sional learn­ing and pro­mote a spirit of in­quiry in school maths.”

Ms Skahill said she be­came a cham­pion be­cause she wanted to im­prove stu­dent en­gage­ment and suc­cess in maths.

“Stu­dents are opt­ing out of higher level VCE math­e­mat­ics across the coun­try which is adding to the short­age of Aus­tralian stu­dents choos­ing STEM based ca­reers,” she said.

“Prior to teach­ing I was a med­i­cal sci­en­tist and know first­hand the im­por­tance of maths and sci­ence.”

Re­Solve re­sources pro­vide a rich learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment where stu­dents work to­gether on tasks that are ‘low floor high ceil­ing’ en­abling all stu­dents to ex­pe­ri­ence suc­cess.

“Stu­dents draw on wider math skills and make con­nec­tions,” Ms Skahill said.

“These tasks com­ple­ment the di­rect in­struc­tion and learn­ing tasks that re­quire prac­tic­ing of skills and ap­pli­ca­tion of knowl­edge.

“The high level of en­gage­ment in the class­room is what teach­ing is all about, when stu­dents are en­gaged they not only learn, but en­joy do­ing it.”

Mar­ian Col­lege prin­ci­pal Cath Wat­ter said the school was look­ing for­ward to en­hanc­ing greater aca- demic suc­cess for stu­dents.

“An­drea is an ex­cel­lent class­room prac­ti­tioner who has worked tire­lessly to im­ple­ment a ‘flipped class­room’ and on­line learn­ing, cre­at­ing in­di­vid­ual pro­grammes for ju­nior maths stu­dents,” she said.

“An­drea’s work has con­trib­uted to some out­stand­ing NAPLAN re­sults in Math­e­mat­ics at Mar­ian.

“Her pas­sion for teach­ing makes learn­ing math­e­mat­ics a re­ward­ing, en­joy­able and en­gag­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery child in her class.”

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