The reSolve Champions workshops

reSolve Champions had opportunities to network at the workshops.
NT Champions with Olive Chapman (second from right), Will Morony (right) and Steve Thornton (third from left).
The Queensland Champions workshop.

Written by Matt Skoss

Champions from around Australia recently enjoyed the opportunity to develop their knowledge about leading cultural change to transform school mathematics. Professor Olive Chapman from the University of Calgary shared her substantial body of research and practice in building professional learning communities in two-day workshops with Champions.

A key message was the importance of fostering a community of inquiry in which participants share a common goal that addresses a pedagogical or mathematical problem. Champions also had the option of participating in a masterclass at which Professor Chapman presented some of the theoretical ideas underpinning her work in leading cultural change.

One of the interesting activities Olive asked Champions to do was to write some metaphors and similes by completing the sentences: ‘Using a reSolve task is like…’ and ‘If a reSolve task were an animal, it would be…’. Some creative responses included:

‘Using a reSolve task is like surfing without a coach because there’s no-one to guide you on how to use your resource, but chances are you can just try again (unless you really goof up).’

‘Using a reSolve task is like a rollercoaster, once started you have to hold on and enjoy until the end. And when you get there, yep you could do it again.’

‘A reSolve task is like a squirrel scavenging before winter, as it is so full of stuff and you don’t know how it’s all packed in there.’

‘It would be ants because it involves everybody and leaves out nobody.’

The overarching goal for the workshops was to equip reSolve Champions to become an ongoing force in Australian mathematics education by:

  • developing their understanding and skills in leading cultural change in school mathematics
  • strengthening and extending connections and relationships between themselves, and with affiliated associations and systems
  • working with them to develop their action plans for 2018 and beyond                                    

—while keeping the reSolve Protocol at the heart of what they do.

Representatives from each of the AAMT Affiliates, and the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors in each state and territory, worked with Champions to strengthen those connections.

Some comments from Champions included:

‘...a sense of ongoing support, so I don’t feel alone…’

‘...increased credibility in the wider community...confidence to present at our annual conference…’

‘...feel equipped to promote reSolve to the wider community and make Champions more visible...’

‘This has been an amazing few days—for thinking about what maths could look like, for considering how to establish a PLC and networking with other passionate maths teachers. Thank you for this incredible opportunity!’

Special interest groups

Champions have been invited to contribute to three special interest groups (SIGs) relating to assessment, STEM, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners. The SIGs will provide advice to help us better address some key issues. Champions have also been invited to create their own SIGs based on other interests, or along geographical lines.

We look forward to continuing to work with this amazing group of teachers as they lead cultural change in their school and beyond.