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EDMA504 Mathematics Education 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

Pre-service teachers of all year levels must develop knowledge and understanding of specific mathematics subject-matter knowledge, and mathematics pedagogical-content knowledge, and how to address the requirements of the Australian Curriculum.

Pre-service teachers will explore theories of learning mathematics and effective teaching and learning strategies that enhance students' understandings of mathematical concepts and skills. This unit will promote cognitive skills to analyse, consolidate and synthesise a range of different learning activities and teaching approaches. A range of formal and informal assessment strategies will be examined with an emphasis on using student data to inform and differentiate learning and teaching: report on student achievement and meet professional accountability requirements. Additionally, the unit includes a second master class for pre-service teachers undertaking a Mathematics and numeracy specialisation, providing for deeper pedagogical knowledge for meeting diverse learner needs. Pre-service teachers will further develop theoretical frameworks of numeracy education and quality pedagogy for planning teaching and assessment in Mathematics and numeracy across other learning areas.

The aim of this unit is to further develop theoretical and practical principles of mathematics and to further extend the application of contemporary pedagogy of primary mathematics. It provides opportunities to consider issues and strategies in planning, implementing and monitoring learning experiences in primary mathematics, with a focus on further Number and Algebra and Probability and Statistics, and drawing on contemporary research, national and state curriculum documents and initiatives.

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 discuss a range of issues related to contemporary mathematics teaching and communicate this analysis effectively, drawing on relevant research, the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and other state and national curriculum documents (GA4, GA6, GA8; APST 1.2, 2.5, 3.6) 

LO2 - Evaluate student learning and implement lesson sequences and teaching strategies, including the ethical use of ICT, that cater for the diverse needs of learners, with appropriate assessment and moderation, constructive and timely feedback and reporting practices for sharing understandings of progress with students and stakeholders (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 1.5, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4. 5.5)

LO3 - Critique through informed research, acquisition of mathematical understanding, fluency, problem solving and reasoning in Number and Algebra, Statistics and Probability to inform planning for mathematics teaching with students of varying abilities, referenced to the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and other relevant mathematics curriculum documents (GA4, GA6, GA8; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2)

LO4 - Model professional confidence and competence in mathematical skills, concepts and processes relating to Number and Algebra, Statistics and Probability to engage students in their learning and to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching programs (GA5; APST 2.1, 3.4, 3.6).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

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


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities. 

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.

5.3 Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.

5.5 Demonstrate understanding of a range of strategies for reporting to students and parents/carers and the purpose of keeping accurate and reliable records of student achievement.


Topics will include:

  • Rational number, algebraic thinking, and probability and statistics will form the mathematical content basis of this unit.
  • Research informed approaches to successful mathematics learning that are responsive to the strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. 
  • The role of mathematical investigation and open tasks for constructing mathematical knowledge and orchestrating mathematical discourse, reasoning, argumentation, and proof.
  • Effective resources that support and enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics (e.g., manipulatives, digital technologies, and visual representations)
  • Assessment practices to guide learning teaching of mathematics: (e.g., informal and formal, including diagnostics approaches to formative and summative assessment of cognitive and affective learning).
  • Recording and tracking of student learning – interpretation and analysis of student data; moderation of student learning outcomes against class, state and national norms
  • Reporting of student learning outcomes to parents/carers and other stakeholders – types of reports; strategies for engaging parents
  • Issues regarding National testing eg Naplan
  • Approaches for different levels planning for mathematics teaching
  • Incorporating the mathematical content and proficiencies
  • Integrating the mathematical content strands to facilitate connections across dimensions of mathematics
  • Effective contexts for mathematics learning (e.g., children’s literature, real life contexts, games, problem solving and investigations)
  • Identifying opportunities to use Numeracy across the curriculum
  • Powerful pedagogical actions in mathematics (e.g. creating powerful learning environments, grouping practices, scaffolding learning, attending to literacy demands, promoting productive discourse and collaborative argumentation, questioning and prompting), selecting tasks and models that promote deep learning and knowing and using pedagogical knowledge.
  • Current national, state, and territory initiatives in mathematics education

Master Class for primary specialisation in English and Literacy

  • Theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of Mathematics and numeracy across the curriculum 
  • Implementation of digital technologies to teaching and learning numeracy across the curriculum
  • Statistical tools and analyses for deep understanding of data and evidence of student learning
  • Comprehensive knowledge of strategies to meet the numeracy needs and engage a diverse in classrooms, which may include EAL/D learners, indigenous learners or students with special needs
  • Comprehensive knowledge and the application of diagnostic assessment and remediation practices in Mathematics and numeracy for differentiated teaching, learning and assessment for students with learning needs 
  • Professional engagement with teachers, parents/carers, and professionals in the identification, analysis and response to student learning needs in Mathematics and numeracy
  • Application of the differentiation of teaching and assessment to the development of learning sequences in Number and Algebra and Probability and Statistics  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum which is offered in on-campus mode. A range of teaching and learning strategies are employed to reflect contemporary mathematics and numeracy learning pedagogies as can be applied in primary contexts. These include: interactive learning experiences; student-led discussions and group work; directed hands-on learning activities; real-world problem-solving; and the integration of ICT as a pedagogical tool for accessing, sharing and learning in mathematics. These experiences are facilitated through lectures, seminars, tutorials and self-directed reading/activity guides and study resources. The on-campus learning experiences are supported by online learning strategies, including: synchronous and/or asynchronous digital engagement in reading/library tasks, learning activities, and discussion forums as mediated through the LEO (Learning Environment Online) unit site.

EDMA685 also includes a master class that is offered as an online module. It provides additional online learning experiences, including interactive lectures and workshops, self-directed reading/activity guides, and synchronous and/or asynchronous learning forums and activities. Where student numbers allow, the master class may be supplemented by face-to-face workshops.

Technology Enhanced Learning

The online teaching and learning in this unit will be offered via a LEO unit site. This will include resources and materials to support on-campus learning in a blended mode. The online master class will be available through the same LEO site.

Lectures or lecture summaries will be recorded to support student learning. Some tutorial activities may be recorded as appropriate to facilitate review of pedagogical strategies. Students will be notified when an activity is being recorded prior to the commencement of the activity.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the course learning outcomes by demonstrating academic and professional standards. The assessment in curriculum and pedagogy units focuses on applying content knowledge and skills to the design and implementation of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. In EDMA685, the assessment focusses on pedagogies for developing mathematics and numeracy in advanced concepts of Number and Algebra and in Probability and Statistics. The three tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development in using and developing of resources for learning (Task 1), planning for teaching, learning and assessment (Task 2), and demonstrating broad content and pedagogical content knowledge (Task 3).

For pre-service teachers completing the master class, Task 1 will be replaced by the Master Class Task. They will be required to extend the design of learning resources to take in the learning needs of a diverse range of learners in a specific learning context.

A range of assessment procedures are used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements. (

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for you to demonstrate your achievement of each learning outcome.

In order to pass this unit, you are required to successfully complete all assessment tasks relevant to your pathway through the unit. For pre-service teachers completing the Mathematics and numeracy specialisation this is Tasks 2, 3 and the Master Class Task. For all other pre-service teachers, the required assessments are Tasks 1, 2 and 3.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

All relevant assessment items will be submitted electronically via the unit LEO site.

Marking, feedback and the return of assessment will be undertaken electronically. Dates for submission and return of assessment will be available on the unit LEO site from the first week of the study period. Students should take account of file type and size requirements when preparing submissions.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1*

Video Investigation; create a content-specific investigation exploring a mathematical topic with prompts and questions that lead to student learning 


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Unit Plan; differentiated learning, teaching and assessment plan with strategies and resources for teaching, assessing, moderating and reporting on student learning  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 3

Examination; extended response and short answer questions demonstrating understandings of pedagogies, theories, and issues


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Master Class Task

(for specialisation students only)

Critical analysis of classroom numeracy needs; collection and analysis of assessment data for a whole class with recommended differentiation plans for learners across the full range of backgrounds and needs 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

* Mathematics and numeracy specialisation students exempt.

Representative texts and references

Anghileri, J. (2006). Teaching number sense (2nd ed.). London, England: Continuum.

Booker, G., Bond, D., Sparrow, L., & Swan, P. (2014). Teaching primary mathematics (5th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Forgasz, H., Barkatsas, A., Bishop, A., Clarke, B., Keast, S., Seah, W., & Sullivan, P. (2008). Research in mathematics education in Australasia 2004-2007. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Litwiller, B., & Bright, G. (2002). Making sense of fractions, and proportions. (2002 Yearbook). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Masalski, W. & Elliot, P. (2005). Technology-supported mathematics learning environments. (2005 Yearbook). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Siemon, D., Beswick, K., Brady, K., Clark, J., Faragher, R., & Warren, E. (2011). Teaching mathematics: Foundations to middle years. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Van de Walle, J., Karp, K., & Bay-Williams, J. (2013). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. 

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