Researching education: Five further readings on learning progressions for literacy and numeracy

Welcome to this edition of Researching education: 5 further readings. In this series, we take a look at some further readings available on a particular topic, including open access research papers from various online databases, and Teacher archive content you might not have come across yet.

In this edition of Researching education: 5 further readings, we’re sharing 5 pieces of content on the topic of literacy and numeracy learning progressions. In this list, you can access a paper introducing learning progressions in reading and mathematics for the early years, a report on literacy and numeracy outcomes of students in Australia, and an open-access paper from the United States looking at teachers’ use of learning progressions in the classroom.

  1. Which skills are important for future literacy and numeracy learning? This report from the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) summarises research completed in 2022 on the literacy and numeracy outcomes of children and the areas in which they need the most support. Their analysis included 4 separate stages. The final stage of the research used qualitative research techniques to align the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) item progression to the Australian Curriculum and the National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions.
  2. Bringing learning progressions down to 2-year-olds in reading and mathematics. ACER’s learning progressions in reading and maths have mainly focused on skills demonstrated by students at and beyond school. Recently, these reading and mathematics progressions have been extended to describe earlier levels of growth, and in this paper, Prue Anderson from ACER shares what early growth in reading and mathematics looks like. ‘Educators need to understand what early growth in reading and mathematics looks like in order to foster key skills and concepts at an appropriate level for the child. This ensures a strong foundation for children to make good ongoing progress,’ she writes in the paper.
  3. Bounded learning progressions: a framework to capture young children’s development of mathematical activity in play-based contexts. In this open-access paper, published in the Mathematics Education Research Journal, the authors propose a model of bounded learning progressions which they describe as a model that considers learning progressions from multiple perspectives to provide a broad perspective of children’s learning capabilities.
  4. Learning progressions/trajectories in mathematics and science education: A case for evidence-based curricula reform? Guest editorial. In this guest editorial for the Australian Journal of Education, Greg Oates from the University of Tasmania and Rebecca Seah from RMIT University give a research overview on learning progressions to introduce the special issue of the journal, which focused on research into mathematics and science learning progressions in the Australian context.
  5. Learning progressions as a simplified model: Examining teachers' reported uses to inform classroom assessment practices. This research paper shares the findings of a research project that involved high school physics teachers in the United States. Over 2 years, the teachers were involved in a learning progression professional development program. The researchers analysed how the teachers learned from learning progressions and used them to support classroom assessment and report that a major finding of theirs is that teachers utilised learning progressions that did not require a reliance on learning progression levels more than they used more level-reliant learning progressions.

Bonus reading: Version 3 of National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions.

Some of the resources featured in this article can be found through Cunningham Library Catalogue and EdResearch Online. At the links below, you can search for more resources on the topic of literacy and numeracy learning progressions in these 2 online databases.

You can also browse other education topics at this page.

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