Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (978.52 kB)

The Predominant Teaching Strategies in Year 8 and  Year 9 Mathematics Classrooms

Download (978.52 kB)
Version 3 2023-03-14, 23:25
Version 2 2023-03-13, 23:53
Version 1 2021-11-09, 01:08
posted on 2021-11-09, 01:08 authored by Matheson, Kay Jacqueline

In New Zealand most students change schools at age 12 -14 from an intermediate school to a secondary school. This usually involves a transition from a school that is organised by students having a home room with one teacher for most of their subjects to a school that is organised by students changing classrooms and teachers for every subject. Across this transition period research internationally and in New Zealand suggests that mathematics achievement and engagement is negatively affected. Lesson content, interschool communication, social class, ethnicity, and gender have been identified as factors that may influence the negative effect of transition. This research looks at another possible factor affecting achievement and engagement at transition in mathematics: the teaching strategies used. Teaching strategies have been defined in this research to be those strategies used in classroom instruction as indicated by teacher talk, activity style, and equipment use. This research is based on a purposive sample of one secondary school and one of its feeder intermediate schools. Three teachers of mathematics at Year 9 from the secondary school and three Year 8 teachers from the intermediate school were then selected to be videoed, each for three lessons. The video recorded lessons were then transcribed, analysed using content analysis, and the teaching strategies evident in the classroom identified. The teaching strategies were categorised based on previous research such as that by Fraivillig, Murphy and Fuson (1999) to find any similarities or differences in teaching strategies used in the Year 8 and Year 9 mathematics classroom. Year 8 teachers used facilitating and eliciting questions more often than the Year 9 teachers. The Year 8 teachers used instructional statements as a teaching strategy. There appeared to be more intra-school variation in teaching strategies at the Year 8 level. Year 9 teachers were found to be more teacher-centred than Year 8 teachers in their choice of strategies with teacher initiated right/wrong questioning the most frequent interaction type used. Instructional and control statements were also a feature of the Year 9 mathematics classrooms. This study indicates that across the transition period, from Year 8 to Year 9, students' experience changes in the types of teaching strategies used in the mathematics classroom. The focus shifts from student-centred learning to teacher-centred learning. This may be a contributing factor in the decline in mathematics achievement that has been shown to occur at this phase of education in New Zealand. Implications from this research include: - the possible need for schools across a transition to communicate more to align their teaching strategies; - the need for best practice teaching strategies to be implemented in all schools; and - the possibility of schools across a transition working together and developing a programme which may allow students to integrate better into the secondary school.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Teaching

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Education Policy and Implementation


Averill, Robin