Teacher identified professional learning needs to effectively include a child with Down syndrome in primary mathematics

Faragher, Rhonda and Clarke, Barbara (2016) Teacher identified professional learning needs to effectively include a child with Down syndrome in primary mathematics. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 13 2: 132-141. doi:10.1111/jppi.12159


Author Faragher, Rhonda
Clarke, Barbara
Title Teacher identified professional learning needs to effectively include a child with Down syndrome in primary mathematics
Journal name Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1741-1130
1741-1122
Publication date 2016-06-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/jppi.12159
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 13
Issue 2
Start page 132
End page 141
Total pages 10
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject 3306 Health (social science)
2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Abstract The practices of effective primary school teachers including students with Down syndrome in their mathematics classes are largely unexplored and many teachers feel unprepared to teach students with an intellectual disability. The authors sought to find out what these specific professional learning (PL) needs were and if they changed over time. A mixed methods study was undertaken to investigate the practices of primary mathematics teachers including students with Down syndrome in regular class lessons in two Australia educational jurisdictions. A variety of approaches was used to gain an understanding of their practices. Findings are based on responses to a questionnaire administered to teaching teams at the beginning and end of the school year. There was a strong endorsement of inclusion as an appropriate practice in primary mathematics. The PL needs of teaching teams changed across the teaching year. Early requirements concerned understanding Down syndrome and its impact on learning and behavior. As the school year progressed, PL needs changed toward a greater focus on the need for specific resources and strategies for teaching mathematics. The PL requirements of teachers included the need for “in-time” support. The authors conclude that even if it may be infrequent when a teacher has a student with Down syndrome in a mathematics class, teachers still need access to PL that evolves across the school year, from less focus on syndrome-specific information to greater emphasis on teaching mathematics through adjusting learning outcomes and teaching approaches.
Formatted abstract
The practices of effective primary school teachers including students with Down syndrome in their mathematics classes are largely unexplored and many teachers feel unprepared to teach students with an intellectual disability. The authors sought to find out what these specific professional learning (PL) needs were and if they changed over time. A mixed methods study was undertaken to investigate the practices of primary mathematics teachers including students with Down syndrome in regular class lessons in two Australia educational jurisdictions. A variety of approaches was used to gain an understanding of their practices. Findings are based on responses to a questionnaire administered to teaching teams at the beginning and end of the school year. There was a strong endorsement of inclusion as an appropriate practice in primary mathematics. The PL needs of teaching teams changed across the teaching year. Early requirements concerned understanding Down syndrome and its impact on learning and behavior. As the school year progressed, PL needs changed toward a greater focus on the need for specific resources and strategies for teaching mathematics. The PL requirements of teachers included the need for “in-time” support. The authors conclude that even if it may be infrequent when a teacher has a student with Down syndrome in a mathematics class, teachers still need access to PL that evolves across the school year, from less focus on syndrome-specific information to greater emphasis on teaching mathematics through adjusting learning outcomes and teaching approaches.
Keyword Down syndrome
Inclusion
Intellectual disability
Mathematics education
Primary education
Professional learning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 10:38:35 EST by Rhonda Faragher on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)