Melbourne-based Maths Pathway is changing the way Year 5 to Year 10 students learn maths, leveraging technology, classroom best-practice and professional learning to enable teachers to target each student’s point of need.
Co-founded by two teachers in 2013, Maths Pathway has grown to be used in over 250 schools by more than 50,000 students. The approach has attracted a $2.1 million impact investment.
Maths Pathway resources help teachers create classrooms with differentiated and deep conceptual learning. The teacher development program helps teachers focus on practices with the greatest impact on student learning. The model includes an online platform that enables individualised lessons with rich data to inform teaching and feedback. This helps teachers optimise student learning progress.
The teachers who have used Maths Pathway have been impressed.
“I have completely shifted from being a teacher-centred classroom to a student-centred classroom. This has been a revelation and made life a lot easier (my exit rate is down to almost zero) … students are achieving more in less time and we now have lots of time to concentrate on Problem Solving,” says Chris Hill, Numeracy Coordinator, Epping Secondary College, Vic.
Michelle Fry, Head of Maths, Redcliffe State High School, Qld has had a similar experience saying: “Before Maths Pathway, we had to stream our classes to have some hope of moving students through together, due to the high range of abilities. This was very tough work on the teachers who had the students who had struggled with maths for a long time. Grouping students into 'like' groups by ability causes other problems with classroom learning, and I knew it couldn’t last. With senior students, we were constantly disappointed to find they hit a wall with their studies and drop to a lower maths course. Something wasn’t working.”
Maths Pathway students in the same class can learn vastly different levels of maths. Research has demonstrated that achievement levels in a typical Year 7 classroom are spread across eight years of the curriculum.
The program has shown to lead to a mathematics growth rate twice that of those who do not use the Maths Pathway Learning and Teaching model, which helps student and teacher interactions, and provides tailored professional learning and support for teachers, according to data collected by Maths Pathway in 2017.
The investment round was led by Social Ventures Australia (SVA) a not-for-profit with an impact investing service. It invests in organisations that create meaningful social impact in Australia. The $1 million investment from SVA is the organisation’s first equity investment from its $15 million SVA Diversified Impact Fund, which reached final close earlier this year.
The investment will be used to improve classroom outcomes through product improvements, driving student engagement through interactive content and providing teachers even greater access to student data and planning information.
Maths Pathway co-founder Richard Wilson said when seeking investment, it was shared values that drew the organisation to SVA.
"Results have shown students learn twice as fast with Maths Pathway,” he said.
“Results such as this demonstrate Maths Pathway is a market catalyst influencing broader change in our education system to help students learn. SVA was just as concerned with creating systemic change as we are.
“The typical Year seven classroom has an eight-year spread of maths comprehension. In many classrooms across Australia, there may be students learning Year 4 multiplication tables and others learning Year 10 algebra.
“Teachers struggle to manage lesson plans, assessments, and reporting, for such a wide range of learning in one classroom."
SVA Executive Director, Impact Investing Michael Lynch said with Maths Pathway already making a big impact for schools, teachers and students, he’s excited to see its growth and maturity as a social purpose organisation.
“Maths Pathway is committed to improving the educational outcomes of the greatest possible number of Australian students,” he said.
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