Hangaia Te Urupounamu Pāngarau Mō Tātou 

Develop Mathematical Inquiry Communities - Accelerating Improvement for Equity and Excellence in Education

The policy challenge in mathematics achievement is significant both in national achievement and equity for Māori and Pasifika. Mathematics education is an area of system weakness. Current attainment where fewer than 75% of those students assessed, subject to validity of assessment, achieve at or above national standards is well short of the Ministry’s goal of 85% of students in years 1 to 8 achieving at or above the National Standards by 2017. Nationally, less than 65% of Māori students and less than 61% of Pasifika students were reported to be at or above National Standards in 2013. The May 2015 release of National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement results signals a pressing need for improvement in mathematics education at middle and upper primary in New Zealand.  Only 11% of Pasifika and 26% of Māori students achieved curriculum standards at Year 8.  Only 41% of all students were achieving at this level. Recent international assessments show a significant decrease in primary mathematics achievement in New Zealand between 2002 and 2011 with the largest decline for Māori and the lowest mean score for Pasifika. New Zealand’s performance has been below-average for equity on OECD assessments of mathematics performance[1]. The OECD has identified New Zealand as one of very few countries on a trajectory of accelerated decline in Mathematics at secondary level in the Programme for International Student Assessments (PISA). The research and professional development is designed to build capability for accelerated improvement to address the policy challenges demonstrated in national performance in mathematics.

[1] Schleicher , A. (2014). Equity, Excellence and Inclusiveness in Education: Policy Lessons from Around the World. Paris: OECD Publishing. Figure 1.4. Student performance and equity (p. 17).

Funding Body:

Ngai Tahu and the James Stewart Loper Bequest

Date Range:


Project Team:

Project leader: Associate Professor Roberta Hunter

Project Team members Professor Glenda Anthony

Dr Jodie Hunter

Trevor Bills

Zain Thompson

Anshuma Yasif

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