YDM Context-Based Learning

YDM Context-Based Learning projects use the YDM approach with a motivating context to enhance mathematics learning in Years 4 to 9. The contexts used so far have been vocational (e.g. carpentry, metalwork, horticulture), music (the JAMATH project with the JAM music group) and technology (LEGO robotics). The mathematics is integrated with the contexts – so all the mathematics work for each week is built around the motivational context. This dramatically improves engagement, attendance and learning.

The YDM Context-Based Learning projects to date have tended to focus on literacy and science as well as mathematics, with strong improvements in all areas. Participants in these projects receive professional development on the approach, examples of the context, and mathematics instructional units to go with the contexts, plus pre-post surveys and tests.


Curent projects

There are no current YDM Context-based Learning projects. If you are interested in developing a project, please contact us.


Past projects

JAM Music and Mathematics (JAMATH): 2011–12 and 2014

This innovative project was a collaboration between YDC and music group Join Australian Music (JAM) that integrated music and mathematics in order to motivate and engage students to improve learning.

JAM provided workshop days of music experiences and activities for students involving instrumental sessions, song-writing, instrument building and sound engineering. YDC provided resources for mathematics teaching, both before and after the workshop days, using music contexts to look at the maths topics of number, fraction, patterning, measurement and shape. The music contexts were used as both real-world authentic instances of mathematics and as a starting point and motivation for mathematics exploration.

YDC also provided professional learning sessions to prepare the teachers for the music days, covering the mathematics in the teaching program and an action research activity.

A pilot JAMATH project was funded by a QUT Engagement Innovation Grant in 2011–12 and involved trials in four Brisbane schools. A second pilot JAMATH project, funded by Rio Tinto Coal Australia's Kestrel Aboriginal Community Development Fund, ran at a central Queensland school in 2014.

A poster and conference paper on the first JAMATH pilot project were presented at the Australian Universities Community Engagement Alliance "Next Steps" conference held at QUT from 9–11 July 2012.

If you are interested in the JAMATH project, please contact us.

Read more about the Central Queensland JAMATH project on our News page

Skills in Integrated Technical Education (SITE): 2013

Based on the earlier GIVE project, SITE developed and studied the effectiveness of an integrated literacy, mathematics, science and contextual program for students in Years 4–9 to improve engagement and learning. The integrated program focused on trades, robotics and other motivating contexts in two state schools in central Queensland.

Get Into Vocational Education (GIVE) Gladstone and Rockhampton Region: 2010–12

The innovative and award-winning GIVE project developed and studied the effectiveness of an integrated literacy, mathematics, science and trades program for students in Years 4–9. The aims of the project were to improve student engagement, enhance student learning, and build an awareness of trades as a vocation. The project was a partnership with the Gladstone Area Group Apprentices Limited (GAGAL) trade training organisation to provide trades experiences to students and link these to classroom learning in literacy, maths and science.

The first GIVE project was a pilot conducted in Term 4 of 2010 at Gladstone Central State School and funded by the Rio Tinto Alcan Community Benefit Fund. Due to the project's success in improving student engagement and outcomes in just one term, the school decided to self-fund the project to continue in 2011.

The work at the school in 2010 and 2011, in conjunction with GAGAL, resulted in the program being named as one of three State Finalists in the Middle Phase of Learning category of the 2011 Education Queensland Showcase Awards. To become a finalist was a huge achievement for such a young program. The NAPLAN results at the school were also sensational with approximately 40% of students improving by at least two NAPLAN Bands in literacy and numeracy.

The second GIVE project was conducted with three schools in the Rockhampton region during 2011, and was funded by a philanthropic grant from The John Villiers Trust. One of these schools then continued the project with self-funding in 2012.

Tagai Maths for Employment: 2008–09

A partnership between schools in the Torres Strait Islands and the Deadly Maths Consortium at QUT (now the YuMi Deadly Centre) was established to implement mathematics teaching ideas in Torres Strait Island schools in 2009. The overarching aim of the project was to enhance mathematics learning outcomes for Torres Strait Islander students through contextualising the schools' mathematics programs to Torres Strait Islander culture and art, first language, marine and sport practices.

There was a particular focus on: (a) improving teachers' pedagogy and classroom practices with respect to mathematics and Torres Strait Islander students; (b) improving remedial tutoring for low-achieving Torres Strait Islander students in mathematics; and (c) developing special programs to support mathematically high-achieving Torres Strait Islander students.

Publications arising from this project are available through QUT ePrints. A measurement assessment resource developed for this project, Measurement: Interview-based assessment Prep to Year 6, is available to download from Project Resources – Student Learning – Measurement.



QUT YuMi Deadly Centre

Phone: +61 07 3138 0035
Fax: +61 07 3138 3985
Email: ydc@qut.edu.au

School of Curriculum
Faculty of Education
Queensland University of Technology
Kelvin Grove Campus
S Block, Victoria Park Road
Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059