Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Learners Perspective Study - About the project
About the project PDF Print E-mail
Aims and scope
The Learner’s Perspective Study examines the patterns of participation in competently-taught eighth grade mathematics classrooms in sixteen countries [see Research team] in a more integrated and comprehensive fashion than has been attempted in previous international studies. The aim of our research is to document not just the obvious social events that might be recorded on a videotape, but also the participants’ construal of those events, including their memories, feelings, and the mathematical and social meanings and practices which arose as a consequence of those events.

A series of research questions were formulated in the initial phase of the project. Subsequently, members of the research team, individually and in groups, have framed additional, more focused questions. The original, more general questions are given below.

The power of the project is greatly enhanced by the possibility of matching data from other countries. Among the original questions that the project was designed to address are the following:

1. Within the classrooms studied in each country, is there evidence of a coherent body of student practice(s), and to what extent are these practices culturally-specific?

2. What are the antecedent and consequent conditions and actions (particularly learner actions) associated with teacher practices identified in earlier studies as culturally specific and nationally characteristic?

3. To what extent does an individual teacher employ a variety of pedagogical approaches in the course of teaching a lesson sequence?

4. What degree of similarity or difference (both locally and internationally) can be found in the learner (and teacher) practices occurring in classrooms identified by the local education community as constituting sites of competent teaching practice?

5. To what extent are teacher and learner practices in a mutually supportive relationship?

6. To what extent are particular documented teacher and learner practices associated with student construction of valued social and mathematical meanings?[A brief pdf presentation relating to the Learner's Perspective Study can be accessed here.]

[A more complete outline of the Study Design is provided as a downloadable 
pdf file and the research design is discussed more completely in Chapter 2 of the book: Mathematics Classrooms in Twelve Countries: The Insider’s Perspective (Clarke, Keitel, & Shimizu, 2006).]

Research design
A significant characteristic of the Learner’s Perspective Study is the documentation of the teaching of sequences of lessons, rather than just single lessons. The data related to each lesson comprise classroom videos, teacher questionnaires, video-stimulated student and teacher interviews, field notes from classroom observation, students’ productions, and resources used by the teacher. For classroom videotaping, three cameras are used (Teacher camera, Student camera, Whole Class camera) including the onsite mixing of the Teacher and Student camera images into a split-screen video record, which is then used in the student and teacher interviews to stimulate reconstructive accounts of classroom events.

In each of the participating countries, three 8th grade classrooms in government schools in major urban settings were chosen according to the common criteria of teacher competence (as locally defined by the community), demographic diversity, and the avoidance of atypicality in the student group. In practice, these criteria were not necessarily applied in the same order in each team’s selection procedure.

It is intended that the lesson sequences should be spread across the academic year in order to gain maximum diversity of local curricular content. In a major component of the post-lesson student interviews, in which the split-screen video record is used as stimulus for student reconstructions of classroom events, students are given control of the video replay and asked to identify and comment upon classroom events of personal importance. Each teacher is interviewed at least three times using a similar protocol.

Participating Research Teams

The project was originally designed to complement emergent national norms of student achievement and teaching practices with an in-depth analysis of mathematics classrooms in Australia, Germany, Japan and the USA. Since its inception, research teams from other countries have joined the Learners’ Perspective Study. The fifteen research teams now participating in the Learners’ Perspective study are based in universities in Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, The Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the USA. This combination of countries gives good representation to European and Asian educational traditions, affluent and less affluent school systems, and mono-cultural and multi-cultural societies.


The results of the Learner's Perspective Study are reported in a Book Series, published by Sense Publishers . The results of the LPS project have also been presented at many major conferences and in many journal articles [see PUBLICATIONS].









The International Centre for Classroom Research at the University of Melbourne provides a facility for the storage of the project data, its dissemination to team members, and a site for collaborative data analysis. Funds have been provided by the Australian Research Council to support the accommodation of overseas team members during their periods of collaborative work in Melbourne.

The Learner’s Perspective Study has benefited from the support of the following:
  • The Australian Research Council
  • Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel)
  • Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation
  • Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
  • The Collier Charitable Trust (Australia)
  • Committee for Research and Conference Grants (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China)
  • Council for International Exchange of Scholars (US State Department - Fulbright Research Scholar Award)
  • Czech Science Foundation (Czech Republic)
  • Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Purdue University (USA)
  • The Fohs Foundation (USA)
  • Global Development Network (GDN), World Bank
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
  • Korean Educational Development Institute (AP-EPRI/KEDI)
  • Mathematics Association of Victoria (Australia)
  • Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (Japan)
  • Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (Czech Republic)
  • National Research Foundation (South Africa)
  • The Potter Foundation (Australia)
  • Pundasyon sa Pagpapaunlad ng Kaalaman sa Pagtuturo ng Agham, Ink. (The Philippines)
  • Research Commission, Freie Universität Berlin (Germany)
  • Research Grants Council, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • The Sacta-Rashi Foundation (Israel)
  • The Spencer Foundation (USA)
  • Swedish Research Council
  • University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)
  • University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)
  • The University of Macau, Academic Community (China)
  • The University of Melbourne (Australia)
The LPS Research Team would like to thank the teachers and students, whose cooperation and generous participation made this international study possible.