Literacy and Numeracy

Publication Date



Professional Development, Middle Years, Mathematics teaching, Mathematics teachers, Mathematics achievement, Teacher improvement, Program evaluation, Program effectiveness, Randomised controlled trials


This Evaluation Report is accompanied by an addendum available here.


Thinking Maths is a three-term structured professional learning program for Years 6 - 9 mathematics teachers to engage middle school students’ mathematics learning. The Thinking Maths program has been developed by the South Australian Department for Education based on its Teaching for Effective Learning (TfEL) Framework. The program aims to address a significant drop in students’ mathematics performance in NAPLAN from Years 7 to Year 9. Thinking Maths supports teachers to improve students’ learning of mathematical content during the transition between Primary and Secondary school. Years 6 - 9 teachers participate in five professional learning days at 4 - 5 week intervals over three school terms in an eight-month intervention period delivered and led by two facilitators from the Department. The evaluation of Thinking Maths was independently conducted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) during February to October 2017. It involved over 7068 students (Years 5 - 10) in 158 government Primary and Secondary schools across South Australia. This efficacy evaluation was a multi-site, two-armed (intervention and business-as-usual control) Randomised Control Trial (RCT), with randomisation at the school level. The primary research question was to identify the impact of the Thinking Maths program on the mathematics achievement of individual students. This report presents the findings of the outcome and process evaluation of the Thinking Maths program evaluation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

Place of Publication

Sydney Australia


Social Ventures Australia (SVA)

Geographic Subject

South Australia


Article Location