Whatever It Takes! Developing Professional Learning Communities in Primary School Mathematics Education


In recognising the need to develop skills in numeracy teaching in a regional primary school, this paper examines a case study of one school response. The Principal of the school instigated the development of professional learning communities, to assist all the teachers, who are not numeracy specialists, to develop appropriate classroom skills. This study describes the early stages of this development, using the beginning of a planned action research approach to reflect on the processes and success of the development. Through staff feedback and participant observation, a general satisfaction with the process and its outcomes is recorded. A benchmarking exercise against a published case study in an American middle school setting identifies where that success originates from—the adoption and articulation of key concepts and principles, the role of deliberative leadership, the creation of a safe working environment, and a number of practices considered crucial to the success of professional learning communities. However, the benchmarking exercise also identifies weaknesses in the case study, which helps explain some misgivings that some staff express about the process, in particular a default assumption about staff recruitment, and a weakness of managing time to account for existing staff time demands.

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Chaseling, M. , Boyd, W. , Robson, K. and Brown, L. (2014) Whatever It Takes! Developing Professional Learning Communities in Primary School Mathematics Education. Creative Education, 5, 864-876. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.511100.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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