Home, school and community partnerships to support children’s numeracy
Goos, M, Lincoln, D, Coco, A, Frid, S, Galbraith, P, Horne, M, Jolly, L, Kostogritz, A, Lowrie, T, Short, T & Gholam, M 2004, Home, school and community partnerships to support children’s numeracy, Department of Education, Science and Training, Canberra, ACT. ISBN: 0642774420
Key findings: An Australia-wide survey of primary schools for the project identified 606 numeracy partnership programmes. These programmes seemed to serve two major purposes: to involve parents in school activities and/or inform them about syllabus changes, and to improve children’s mathematics learning experiences and outcomes. The report presents seven case studies featuring exemplary and sustained programmes that documented effective partnership practices that support children's numeracy development. The case studies included two largely funded State/Territory programmes; the NT Mobile Pre-school Project; the Victorian Early Years Numeracy Parent Pack; a long-standing parent–school partnership programme Family Maths Project Australia; two primary schools; and a commercial tutoring agency. The analysis from these case studies identified critical issues and changes required to build and sustain long-term partnerships to support children’s numeracy development. Effective partnerships were characterised in: a long history of building relationships often involving the whole school; whole family or whole community, a specific focus on localised needs and contexts, leadership and liaison by one or two ‘champions’; continuity of provision of financial, material, and human resources; professional development for teachers; and a horizontal structure that often featured cross-sectoral or multi-agency networks with links between schools and government, or community-based agencies. A major barrier to effective partnerships has been identified, as in the short-term nature of the funding provided for many of these partnership programmes. Despite the identification of a wide range of programmes and initiatives that brought together children and adults in numeracy-related activities, the project found that there was very little awareness of numeracy learning and programmes on the part of professional associations and education policy makers. Many appeared to be unaware of the numeracy learning opportunities within informal activities such as playgroups or after-school care.