Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


EDMA217 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment in Mathematics Education 1 OR EDMA417 Mathematics Curriculum and Teaching 1

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 Education 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 Education 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 Education 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 - generate and critically evaluate a Mathematics curriculum program for senior secondary students which involves a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources appropriate to these year levels, assessment tasks and curriculum content (GA4, GA5) 

LO2 - critically analyse a variety of classroom strategies that cater for individual differences in student learning in the Mathematics classroom (e.g. cognitive, physical, social, cultural) and integrate general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities (GA5, GA10)

LO3 - examine the relationships between student learning and expertise, higher-order thinking, learning task design, assessment, feedback, reporting and evaluation in Mathematics Education (GA4, GA5)

LO4 - Interpret and explain the relationship of assessment to intervention strategies, student learning and high stakes examination practices in Mathematics Education (GA5).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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


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

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

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.

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

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.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

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

6.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs.

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.


The topics will include:

  • specific professional practices related to teaching and learning in mathematics including the importance of language in learning mathematics
  • alignment and coherence in content, learning outcomes, pedagogy in curriculum programming
  • the relationship between reflexive learning and effective concept formation to build higher order thinking in mathematics
  • strategies to enable, extend, and challenge all learners in senior secondary mathematics and the development of a positive disposition towards mathematics
  • effective use of resources for teaching, including being a proficient user of, and being able to teach with, digital technologies specific to the teaching and learning of mathematics
  • pedagogical strategies to promote problem posing, problem-solving, mathematical modelling, investigation, reasoning and proof in mathematics
  • school-based assessment and external examinations in mathematics
  • interpreting assessment data, intervention, feedback, and reporting in mathematics

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:

Formative and Summative Assessment: Development of a range of quality teaching resources for teaching mathematical concepts and/or assessment items suitable for senior mathematics students. (e.g. An assessment plan of two or more tasks designed for senior students. Each task designed will include:

  • a rationale that accounts for the choice of content in relation to how the demand of each task supports the development of higher-order thinking
  • outcomes/achievement standards
  • marking guidelines/criteria
  • strategies for providing feedback
  • source material as appropriate


LO1, LO3

GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 2:

Curriculum, assessment and evaluation practice: A program of work or scope and sequence statement constructed for senior students over a nominated period of time (eg. term/ semester/ year). The curriculum will be designed to address:

  • a current issue or innovation in the subject area or a particular context/scenario
  • nominated curriculum content represented in a learning and teaching sequence
  • differentiation of assessment for learning tasks to suit the needs of diverse learners
  • learning outcomes/levels of achievement
  • the integration of assessment in a learning and teaching sequence tasks
  • nominated pedagogical strategies to support higher-order learning
  • resources, including a field trip or excursion
  • a proposal for curriculum evaluation.


An essay or position paper that addresses current issues and debates in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in the teaching subject.

Example 1: Choose a topic dealing with an issue in mathematics concept learning in secondary school (Years 7 –10) which is foundational knowledge for the senior secondary curriculum. Access and read research-based literature to investigate the topic. Write an academic essay highlighting current research into the topic and demonstrate an ability to select, understand and apply research findings to practice;

Example 2: Report and discuss current views regarding a particular key issue in mathematics education and/or effective approaches to the teaching and learning of mathematics - with a special emphasis on the senior years of secondary school on the basis of reading research literature.)


LO2, LO4

GA5, GA10

Representative texts and references


Relevant Australian, state and territory curriculum documents and study designs for secondary school students.

Cullen, C., Hertel, J., & John, S. (2013). Technology tips: Investigating extrema with GeoGebra. Mathematics Teacher, 107(1), 68-72.

Galbraith, P. & Stillman, G. (2006). A framework for identifying student blockages during transitions in the modelling process, ZDM, 38(2), 143-162.

Garofalo, J., & Lester Jr, F. K. (1985). Metacognition, cognitive monitoring, and mathematical performance. Journal for research in Mathematics Education, 16(3), 163-176.

Goos, M., Stillman, G., & Vale, C. (2007). Teaching secondary school mathematics: Research and practice for the 21st century. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Herbel-Eisenmann, B., & Breyfogle. L. (2006). Questioning our patterns of questioning. Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 10(9), 484-489.

Hill, H., Ball, D., & Schilling, S. (2008). Unpacking pedagogical content knowledge: Conceptualizing and measuring teachers’ topic-specific knowledge of students. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 39(4), 372-400.

Nelson, D. (Ed.). (2000). Dictionary of mathematics (4th ed.). London, UK: Penguin.

Sadler, D. R. (1989). Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems. Instructional Science, 18(2), 119-144.

Stillman, G. (2011). Applying metacognitive knowledge in applications and modelling tasks at secondary school. In G. Kaiser, W. Blum, R. Borromeo Ferri, & G. Stillman (Eds.), Trends in teaching and learning of mathematical modelling (pp. 165-180). New York, NY: Springer.

Swan, M. (2005). Improving learning in mathematics: Challenges and strategies. Nottingham, UK: Department for Education and Skills Standards Unit.

Vaiyavutjamai, P., Ellerton, N., & Clements, M. A. (2005). Students’ attempts to solve two elementary quadratic equations: A study in three nations. In P. Clarkson et al. (Eds.), Building connections: Research, theory, and practice, Proceedings of the 28th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) (pp. 734-741). Sydney: MERGA.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs