Staging a Numeracy Performance
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Australian Journal of Middle Schooling, 2017, 17 (2), pp. 17 - 31
- Issue Date:
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Improving middle years students’ engagement in mathematics and their numeracy skills has been an educational focus for many years. One approach is to utilise teachable moments in contexts beyond traditional mathematics classrooms that engage students in using mathematics in real world contexts, thereby developing their numeracy. This paper reports on student numeracy engagement through theatre staging workshops. Year 7 students were led by a professional stage manager to understand the role and the practicalities of stage management. While observing the workshops, it was realised that there were multiple opportunities to engage students in numeracy. Interview and observational data were collected to identify numeracy teaching opportunities and the nature of the mathematics involved. The workshops immersed students in a rich, real-world context that required them to apply mathematical knowledge and skills, especially in measurement, estimation and sequencing. The theatre context also gave the students opportunities to apply practical and logical reasoning skills that align with the Australian Curriculum general capability of numeracy. This paper provides teachers and schools engaging in contexts such as stage productions, an insight into how this creative focus presents a powerful real-life context that gives middle years students an imperative to use their mathematical knowledge and skills.
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