Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Education)

Schools and Centres


First Supervisor

Mr Tim Perkins

Second Supervisor

Associate Professor Boris Handal


To improve teacher quality and student outcomes, teachers involved in the Reading and Mathematics Project (RAMP) in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney have been required to de-privatise their classrooms so that teaching and learning can be observed by, and studied with, other educational colleagues within their own school. This study sought to ascertain how this approach to professional learning has impacted teachers, from their perspective, in the context of primary mathematics education. Teachers were able to voice the conditions under which de-privatisation would be most conducive to their learning and to improvements in the teaching of mathematics across their schools.

Employing case study methodology, data was collected through an online survey from 43 teachers who had participated in RAMP (Mathematics) in 2012-2013. Following this, 3 teachers were also individually interviewed. The data was analysed using both quantitative and qualitative methods to determine how de-privatisation was being enacted in schools, including the types and frequency of different forms and the effects it was perceived to be having on professional learning and mathematics teaching practice at an individual and whole school level.

The study found that teachers believed that de-privatisation was having a very positive effect. Specifically, the frequency of certain forms significantly affected teachers’ perceptions and the forms of de-privatisation integral to RAMP, namely, in-class support from a Numeracy adviser and Instructional Rounds were viewed to be most beneficial. It also showed that overall teachers perceived ‘Observing’ a class rather than ‘Being observed’ as more influential to changing the way they taught mathematics. Furthermore, the research indicated that when situated within a teacher inquiry model involving teachers collaborating in professional learning communities, these forms of de-privatisation have the potential to improve the teaching of mathematics at the classroom and school level.

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