The MARBLE Experience
Educational Research and Professional Learning in Changing Times reports three dimensions of a longitudinal Australian study with the ultimate aim of improving the mathematics learning outcomes for all middle school students in preparation for the quantitative literacy requirements of the 21st century. It was also hoped to improve the prospects for students with the interest to study further mathematics. The project provided professional learning opportunities for teachers, carried out case studies in individual schools, produced well-documented classroom activities in line with the aims, and measured teacher and student change over three years. The three main sections of the book cover the formal data collection and analysis, the qualitative analysis of the case studies, and some of the professional learning activities for teachers. The final section reports the reflections of the authors, especially in relation to the changing educational environment in which the project took place. Many other countries are experiencing similar educational change. The book will supplement other resources for graduate programs for pre-service and in-service mathematics teachers by modeling both a realistic approach to quantitative and qualitative research and a range of practical classroom activities. It will also assist those providing professional learning for teachers in the field unrelated to formal research, as two thirds of the content is based on classroom experiences with mathematics.