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Teacher professional development (PD) is recognised globally as a key component for bringing about education reform. This study focuses on the impact of the PD dimension of the first year of a four-year project, RoleM (Representations, Oral Language and Engagement in Mathematics). The RoleM research-based PD model was designed to support early years teachers working with young students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Involved in the study were 31 Preparatory and Year 1 teachers from 15 schools across Queensland, Australia. Over half of the teachers were situated in rural and remote regions where students are predominantly Indigenous. The results indicate that the RoleM model is highly effective in three measurable dimensions of effectiveness: (a) teachers’ affective domain; (b) teacher change in behaviour and practices; and (c) quantifiable gains in student achievement, a result of changing teacher practices. Implications from this study suggest that it is imperative for PD models to meet the context specific needs of teachers by building teacher confidence and capacity to effectively teach mathematics to early years students.

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Book Chapter

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