Data suggests maths students are just as successful learning from home

While education experts across the country debate the impact of COVID-19 on learning, schools using the Maths Pathway Learning and Teaching model don’t have to worry about the progress of their students.

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While education experts across the country debate the impact of COVID-19 on learning, schools using the Maths Pathway Learning and Teaching model don’t have to worry about the progress of their students.

That’s because on average, the 76,000+ students who use Maths Pathway have learnt at the same rate during COVID-19 shutdowns and disruptions as they did previously.

The average growth rate of 1.25 has been maintained by schools from various sectors and states — so in 2020, students can still expect to learn 1.25 years of maths in 12 months.

For NSW, Queensland and Victoria, growth rates have remained the same, despite major shutdowns affecting millions of students.

This data comes as articles are released claiming students could be severely impacted by their time learning remotely.

A series of five reports commissioned by the Federal Education Department found that up to half of Australian students could be adversely affected by the switch to remote learning.

The reports, which were conducted by leading universities and educational institutions, examined the possible implications of school shutdowns, with a particular focus on vulnerable students. 

In one report by the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University, Professor Stephen Lamb found that vulnerable students could fall six weeks behind in numeracy if online delivery lasts for two terms. Professor Lamb also referenced research from the US that focused on the effectiveness of online delivery. 

In this 2015 study completed for Stanford University, for example, a sample group of publicly funded schools learning maths online was compared to face-to-face Government schools. The findings were worrying — the students learning online were 180 days worse off in maths than those learning in the classroom. Even more worrying was that this poor performance remained consistent over four years.

But vulnerable students using Maths Pathway are not getting caught in these alarming trends.

Supporting vulnerable students

Before COVID-19 hit Australia, figures from PISA and NAPLAN showed a growing gap in educational achievement related to socio-economic status.

Students in disadvantaged secondary schools are making around half the progress in numeracy compared to students in disadvantaged schools.

During school shutdowns, students from low ICSEA schools have continued to learn at the same rate as they were in the classroom — meaning Maths Pathway has translated well to a remote context, even for students who don’t have access to devices or resources like their more privileged peers.

This is due in part to major updates to the Maths Pathway model to support schools during shutdowns. It became apparent quite quickly that not all students could continue to learn on a device as they had previously, while learning from home. So the team set to work developing a ‘School Shutdown Mode’ that took the model offline and into the hands of students.

Teachers could continue to target teaching to the point of need using features that facilitate the same differentiated learning, but in a remote environment.

The Shutdown Mode has made it easier for schools across the board to switch their maths classes online — with teachers from the Maths Pathway community claiming that maths has been the easiest subject to move online.

Teachers keep teaching, learners keep learning

As closed schools head back to the classroom over the coming weeks, some form of normal will be regained in education. 

For Maths Pathway schools, learning will continue and students will strive towards more than 1 year of maths learning in just 12 months. And should an outbreak occur, these schools can hit the switch on Shutdown Mode and get straight back into learning with minimal disruptions. 
If you want to learn more about how your school can do the same, complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch.

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Maths Pathway combines evidence-based practices in a holistic model that supports teachers to deliver differentiated teaching and achieve greater student growth in the classroom.

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