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Does Izak9 raise pupils’ attitudes to mathematics?
The outcome of this research says – yes
If we take the sample of pupils surveyed across the Island of Ireland after having had exposure to using Izak9 for only six lessons, one day per week for 6 weeks, the results show that there is an increase in pupils’ attitudes to mathematics, and to a statistically significant degree, the attitudes of girls.
The context of the report showcases how 39% of boys as opposed to only 14% of girls, choose a STEM based subject at 3rd level Education (OECD 2015). The reason being that whilst girls can outperform boys in these subjects, they don’t choose them, because they don’t enjoy them.
Izak9’s use can have significant impact in this regard, when it comes to mathematics.
The study, funded by SCOTENS (Standing Council of Teacher Education North and South) involved student teachers from Queen’s University Belfast and Trinity College, Dublin.
Does Izak9’s use help prepare pupils for the leap from Primary to Secondary level Education?
The outcome of this EANI pilot project says - yes
A small-scale pilot of 10 schools (5 Primary and 5 partner Post Primary schools, 2 from each Education Authority region) was established in September 2015, as part of the regional Literacy and Numeracy KS2 and KS3 CPD Project, to explore the use of Izak9 as a resource to improve pupil engagement and skills in numeracy across both phases.
The most significant outcome from the pilot has been the impact on pupil’s skills in working with others, problem-solving and decision making, communicating mathematically and thinking flexibly. Their enjoyment and engagement have both been much higher when using Izak9, as has their confidence and willingness to take risks and try out different methods of approach.
The use of the Izak9 resource has provided a new stimulus for teachers of maths and numeracy in both primary and post primary, which has proved engaging and motivating for their students. It has provided opportunities for pupils to talk about their strategies in tackling the tasks and to see that there can be a range of different approaches or even solutions to the same problem.
It has supported teachers in developing a ‘can do’ attitude, with pupils less afraid to have a go and attempt a task, when perhaps in a written format they would have taken fewer risks for learning. It has also increased their ‘stickability’ when confronted with a tougher challenge.
The kinaesthetic nature of the cubes appears to be one big advantage of this resource, with pupils very keen to use them.
The partnership aspect of the pilot worked well when teachers from both phases were brought together in a ‘formal’ setting, with many great discussions and good relationships formed. The sharing best practice day was very valuable in helping everyone to see other ways of using Izak9 in developing their pupils’ skills.
The resource ended up being used from Primary 1 right up to GCSE level in Year 11. This demonstrated the flexibility of Izak9 and the creativity of teachers in taking it and making its use relevant in a wide range of contexts.
Do teachers believe that Izak9 can raise standards in the teaching and learning of maths?
The response to this maths leaders’ survey says - yes
We were asked by the West Belfast Area Learning Community to survey the thoughts of the Secondary schools in their area that were using Izak9. Although the sample is relatively small, the findings are interesting. We thought that schools would be focusing Izak9’s use on years 8 and 9 (first and second year), but it transpires that Izak9’s use is evenly distributed across 5 years of secondary school. Obviously, children love the resource, as we already know, so pupil response rates are high, but the 2 questions that gave the most interesting responses are the 2 shown below.
These are significant statements for Secondary School Heads of Mathematics and Numeracy Coordinators to be making, especially as they would say that their relationship with mathematics would be well above average in the first instance.
We have a wealth of testimonials and anecdotal evidence from teachers, pupils and parents, principals that we can share with you upon request, but the best way for you to find out is to see Izak9 in use for yourself.
If you would like to avail of this opportunity, please contact Edify.