Transposing reform pedagogy into new contexts: complex instruction in remote Australia

Peter Arnold Sullivan, Robyn Jorgensen, Jo Boaler, Stephen Lerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article draws on the outcomes of a 4-year project where complex instruction was used as the basis for a reform in mathematics teaching in remote Aboriginal communities in Australia. The article describes the overall project in terms of the goals and aspirations for learning mathematics among remote Indigenous Australians. Knowing that the approach had been successful in a diverse setting in California, the project team sought to implement and evaluate the possibilities of such reform in a context in which the need for a culturally responsive pedagogy was critical. Elements of complex instruction offered considerable possibilities in aligning with the cultures of the remote communities, but with recognition of the possibility that some elements may not be workable in these contexts. Complex instruction also valued deep knowledge of mathematics rather than a tokenistic, impoverished mathematics. The strategies within complex instruction allowed for mathematical and cultural scaffolding to promote deep learning in mathematics. Such an approach was in line with current reforms in Indigenous education in Australia where there are high expectations of learners in order to break away from the deficit thinking that has permeated much education in remote Australia. The overall intent is to demonstrate what pedagogies are possible within the constraints of the remote context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173 - 184
Number of pages12
JournalMathematics Education Research Journal
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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