The Use of Action Research for the Professionalisation of Beginning Women Teachers as They Learn about Inclusive Mathematics

Bill Atweh, Ann Heirdsfield


This paper reports on a project that aimed to assist the induction of three women
teachers into the practice of mathematics teaching. In their first year of teaching the
three teachers were located in schools at great distances from the normal support
structures for the teachers. Further, the schools consisted of student populations
with wide diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, not familiar to the teachers.
The project had the following characteristics: Firstly, it employed the formation of
an action research network. Secondly, it targeted the concern of the teachers on
how to make mathematics more inclusive for children from a variety of
backgrounds. Thirdly, it bridged the divide in jurisdiction between the
responsibility of the university for preservice training and the responsibility of the
school and the employment departments for induction and inservice professional
learning. This paper discusses the procedures adopted in the project and the
outcomes in teachers’ learning and professionalisation.


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