New Zealand’s school maths scores are declining. A solution put forward the Royal Society expert panel commissioned to investigate our poor maths performance is an increase in specialist maths skills in the teaching profession. Although the education sector could increase teacher skills and use existing resources more effectively, substantial financial incentives are likely to be necessary. But other issues not considered by the Royal Society expert panel, including housing tenure and digital learning, also need to be addressed. Turning results around could take 10 years or longer, so a commitment to evidence-based solutions and rigorous evaluation and monitoring is essential to ensure time – and money – are not wasted.
Over two NZIER Public Good Insights, Olivia Wills and Sarah Hogan explore why maths matters and ways to boost maths learning in school.
NZIER Insight 98 - Why do we care about maths and our declining maths skills?
NZIER Insight 99 - Can we improve our maths performance?