DMIC – Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities

Waimataitai is beginning a 3 year Mathematics Professional Learning programme. This programme is co-lead by Professor Bobbie Hunter and Dr. Jodie Hunter from Massey University.

What is DMIC?

Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities (DMIC) is a model of mathematics teaching. It is a collaborative and culturally responsive way of teaching math.

Is DMIC permanent?

DMIC is based on years of empirical research from NZ and abroad into effective pedagogy and practice. There is more than 16 years of research from New Zealand studies and built around the best practices internationally. The Education Review Office (ERO) recommendations direct schools to implement mathematics programmes based around the core principles of DMIC

Does this cater for all learning styles and all students?

Yes. DMIC is a fully inclusive approach to teaching mathematics that leaves no student out. It requires recognition and development of a range of mathematical proficiencies, skills and experiences. DMIC requires teachers to set problems for students that no one student can answer on their own. The problem must draw on multiple strengths and areas of expertise and draws on family and community knowledge. It lets the students understand that math is everywhere in their lives, not just something they do at school. As children work together they learn pro-social skills not anti-social skills, and inclusive and respectful learning cultures are created. Students become flexible thinkers and open to others’ perspectives. The focus is on explaining and justifying their math thinking.

How does DMIC lead into more advanced math?

DMIC encourages a more flexible approach to mathematics. The key focus is big mathematical ideas which underpin all mathematics leading to accelerated learning when implemented. The mathematical ideas which underpin geometry, measurement, statistics, and algebra are key alongside mathematical practices, rather than a narrow focus on number.

Does DMIC also extend the high achievers?

DMIC extends every student, and every student is recognised as bringing a range of strengths and capabilities to mathematics. Through mathematical inquiry students engage in the use of mathematical practices such as generalising, reasoning, explaining, justifying, representing thinking and questioning.

Does DMIC follow through to teaching of intermediate and secondary students?

DMIC has been implemented in a range of primary, intermediate, and secondary schools right across New Zealand. Students are given high-level, challenging problems to solve collaboratively. The problem must draw on multiple strengths and areas of expertise. NCEA mathematics is based on similar problems and mathematical practices, with students required to explain, justify, and generalise their thinking. Students are better equipped for thinking and reasoning through having learnt these practices at primary and intermediate school.

What’s the difference between DMIC and math from the past?

Traditionally, mathematics has involved teachers instructing students to achieve a narrow focus of knowledge and understanding. Developing mathematical inquiry is closer to how real mathematicians problem solve. Mathematics hasn’t changed, but the way that we’re teaching has.

For more information the following link is for research from the “Expert Advisory Panel” on refreshing the math and statistics curriculum statement