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EDMA519 Mathematics Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 3

Unit rationale, description and aim

In order to plan and deliver lessons that promote learner engagement and enhance student learning, intending secondary teachers need knowledge and understanding of the senior secondary curriculum, along with theoretical frameworks and pedagogical approaches that are emblematic of teaching in their chosen teaching areas, including teaching/learning that responds to the high-stakes assessment that is a usual feature of senior secondary schooling.

In this unit, pre-service teachers will consider the place of Mathematics education in contemporary Australian society, and the senior secondary Mathematics curriculum, in particular. They will explore a range of evidence-based approaches for curriculum development and alignment and to plan for effective teaching and learning, including formative and summative assessment. Pre-service teachers will learn approaches for building knowledge of Mathematics and how to provide constructive feedback and reporting. They will learn approaches for engaging senior secondary learners and to meet the learning needs of diverse students in the senior secondary years. They will further develop skills to shape the dialogic talk of the classroom. Pre-service teachers will formulate unit and assessment plans in order to demonstrate a knowledge of curriculum, learning and assessment theory. They will assemble a resource folio to demonstrate capacity to collect, create and critique resources for effective teaching and learning and to link with curriculum. They will investigate issues and considerations of curriculum implementation as found in the practical reality of schools.

The aim of this unit is for the pre-service teacher to develop their pedagogical content knowledge through becoming familiar with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for teaching Mathematics at a senior secondary level.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Critically analyse, synthesise, design and implement a teaching program Mathematics that caters for students who are following a vocational pathway, such as VET, taking into account different backgrounds and experiences including cultural aspects, indigenous students and students with special education needs (GA1)

LO2 - Plan a sequence of learning experiences appropriate for a University directed alternative senior secondary program, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), and compare and contrast its curriculum and its different levels and offerings with the Australian and State curricula at senior secondary level including the incorporation of ICT into the planning and delivery (GA10)

LO3 - Critically examine and discuss issues which affect the senior secondary Mathematics curriculum and its implementation, including cross curriculum perspectives, inclusive curriculum, social justice, gender, cross-cultural understanding, information technology and new learning technologies, standards-based curriculum frameworks, critical thinking and creativity (GA4)

LO4 - Investigate the range of pathway programs available and the transition from school to tertiary education and analyse related policy and research to present recommendations for a school Mathematics program with rationale (GA8)

LO5 - Compare and contrast the different Mathematics curriculum available to students at the local and/or national level senior secondary mathematics (GA4)

LO6 - Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the roles of the Mathematics teacher and Mathematics coordinator and demonstrate the ability to work effectively in a group in the development of Mathematics pedagogical skills (GA4).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

  • Recent and seminal research in mathematics education and its applicability to the Australian school setting
  • Current issues in Mathematics education, including social justice, and their possible impact on the mathematics classroom
  • Developing Mathematics education curricula for a range of year levels and contexts
  • Examination of the curriculum (e.g., content, pedagogy, and assessment) and rationale of a variety of senior school Mathematics pathways, including in VET, the International Baccalaureate, and University pathway programs and a consideration of international approaches
  • Mathematics education in a wider community context including adult education and parent programs
  • Assessment theory practices in various Mathematics curricula
  • Equity, social justice and alternative senior secondary mathematics programs
  • Transition both from middle school to senior secondary school and school to University including discussion of similarities and differences both within specific curriculum area and more generally.
  • Role of the mathematics coordinator and the Mathematics teacher.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop the pre-service teacher’s understanding of effective pedagogies through active engagement and collaborative learning. The pre-service teacher will build an understanding of teaching strategies through critical reading, lecturer modelling, discussion, and practice in tutorials. The pre-service teacher’s skills of professional communication and ability to work collaboratively will be practised through group work. The pre-service teacher’s teaching skills of planning and assessing, and his/her ability to locate and synthesise information, will be developed through designing curriculum appropriate for a Mathematics education context. The pre-service teacher will continue to gather and reflect upon evidence of attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate.

Teaching and learning strategy described above will use an appropriate selection of approach, including, for example:

  • Weekly face-to-face lectures and / or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Hands-on tutorials and discussions that promote peer learning
  • Microteaching opportunities
  • Self-directed reading and research
  • Collaborative learning opportunities

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed so that the pre-service teacher can progressively achieve the course learning outcomes and the professional standards. The Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment units in this course focus on pre-service teachers acquiring content knowledge and developing the skills to assimilate conceptual knowledge in order for that knowledge to inform skills that will be applied in practice.

The two assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development. By completing Task 1 the pre-service teacher will apply knowledge of assessment strategies. In Task 2 pre-service teachers develop a program of work for senior students over a period of time.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Design a learning sequence for students in an alternative mathematics program demonstrating, with reference to literature, how it differentiates the curriculum and caters for the diversity of students while also contrasting it with the mainstream program (equivalent to 2500 words).


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 2

Collaborate to investigate an area of conceptual difficulty in mathematics across multiple mathematics subjects at senior secondary level and recommend and justify teaching practices (including some using appropriate mathematical electronic technologies) and assessment practices for improved learning (equivalent to 2500 words).


LO3, LO5, LO6

GA4, GA10

Representative texts and references

Australian Curriculum documents

Other curriculum documents including state and some international documents

Bailey, T. R., Hughes, K. L., & Karp, M. M. (2002). What role can dual enrolment programs play in easing the transition between high school and postsecondary education? Community College Research Center, Institute on Education and the Economy, Teachers College, Columbia University.

Ball, D. L. (1991). Teaching mathematics for understanding: What do teachers need to know about subject matter? In M. M. Kennedy (Ed.), Teaching academic subjects to diverse learners (pp. 63-83). New York: Teachers College Press.

Bills, L., & Watson, A. (Eds.). (2008). The role and use of examples in mathematics education [Special Issue], 69(2), 77-194.

Canning, R. (2012). The vocational curriculum in the lower secondary school: material and discursive practices. Curriculum Journal, 23(3) 327-343. DOI:10.1080/09585176.2012.703380.

Flinders, D., & Thornton, S. (Eds) (2013). The curriculum studies reader. (4th ed.) New York: Routledge.

Henry, J., & Grundy, S. (2004). Blurring the boundaries in education: Towards a more seamless system of post-compulsory education. Melbourne, Vic: Australian Council of Deans of Education.

International Baccalaureate. (2010).The middle years program: Preparing students for university in the 21st century. IB Middle Years Program.

McNeil, J. D. (2009). Contemporary curriculum: In thought and action (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Miller, D. (2011). Curriculum theory and practice: What’s your style? Phi Delta Kappan, 92(7) 32-39.

Young, M. (2013) Overcoming the crisis in curriculum theory: A knowledge-based approach. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 45(2), 101 -118.

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