The impact and challenges of early mathematics intervention in and Australian context

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This paper explores the design and longitudinal effect of an intervention approach for supporting children who are mathematically vulnerable: the Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU)—Intervention approach. The progress over three years of Grade 1 children who participated in the intervention was analysed and compared with the progress of peers across four whole number domains. The findings show that participation in the EMU program was associated with increased confidence and accelerated learning that was maintained and extended in subsequent years for most children. Forty per cent of children were no longer vulnerable in the year following the intervention, and others were vulnerable in fewer domains. Comparative data for non-EMU participants highlights the wide distribution of mathematics knowledge across all children in each grade level. This explains why classroom teaching is so complex and highlights the challenges teachers face in providing inclusive learning environments that enable all students to thrive.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInvited Lectures from the 13th International Congress on Mathematical Education
EditorsGabriele Kaiser, Helen Forgasz, Mellony Graven, Alain Kuziniak, Elaine Simmt, Binyan Xu
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319721705
ISBN (Print)9783319721699
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventInternational Congress on Mathematical Education 2016 - University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 24 Jul 201631 Jul 2016
Conference number: 13th


ConferenceInternational Congress on Mathematical Education 2016
Abbreviated titleICME-13
Internet address


  • mathematical difficulties
  • mathematics intervention
  • inclusion
  • whole number concepts
  • mathematics assessment

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