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EDMA241 Mathematics Education 1: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment , EDMA262 Mathematics: Learning and Teaching 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

Mathematics education has grown to become a recognised and significant research area in education. Its theories are based on analysis of the structure of mathematical tasks, the psychology of teaching and learning, and an understanding of the effect of social context on learning. Research on expertise in teaching mathematics has shown that teachers of all year levels require general pedagogical knowledge, specific mathematics pedagogical–content knowledge, and mathematics subject–matter knowledge. All three of these knowledge areas are important in this unit. Pre–service teachers must develop an understanding of knowledge for teaching mathematics and how to address the requirements of the Australian Curriculum and learner needs.

This unit aims to provide an introduction to early childhood (prior to school) and primary school mathematics education and will specifically focus on aspects of planning, teaching and assessing the number and algebra (whole number concepts and skills), measurement and geometry strands of the Australian mathematics curriculum, underpinned by a clear understanding of relevant subject–matter knowledge and current theories of learning and teaching. Approaches to learning and teaching mathematics that are effective and respectful of each student’s background and culture will be emphasised. The role of manipulatives, digital technologies, language and mental processes in children’s developing conceptual understanding and skills will be explored. Methods of assessment will be considered to identify students’ current mathematical understanding and to inform planning and teaching.

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 - Describe the role of mathematics and how mathematics is a powerful tool in making sense of the world (GA1, GA4, GA5; APST 2.1, 2.3, 2.5; ACECQA B1, B2, B3)

LO2 - Explain the important role of self-esteem, high expectations, and positive attitudes to mathematics (GA1; APST 1.2, 1.3, 4.1; ACECQA A1, A6)

LO3 - Demonstrate personal mathematical knowledge for teaching, and understanding of the development of mathematical concepts, skills and thinking strategies (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1; ACECQA A1, A6, E2)

LO4 - Apply different approaches to teaching mathematics that cater for students across a full range of abilities and diverse learning needs, particularly the use of formative, summative and diagnostic assessment data (GA4, GA5; APST 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.3, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3, 5.1, 5.4; ACECQA A1, A6, B1, B2, B3, C4, E3)

LO5 - Apply theories and research about primary aged learners’ development of mathematical concepts and proficiencies to design learning sequences and lesson activities to support student’s mathematical learning of Number and Algebra (restricted to Whole Number including number and place value and four operations and financial mathematics), Measurement (units of measurements) and Geometry (shape, location and transformation), a outlined in relevant documents (GA4, GA5; APST 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4; ACECQA A1, A6, B1, B2, B3, C1, C4)

Graduate attributes

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

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

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


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.

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

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.

2.3 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.

3.2 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.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

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

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


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following specific knowledge:

A. Child development and care

A1. Learning, development and care

A6. Diversity, difference and inclusivity

B. Education and curriculum studies

B1. Early Years Learning Framework

B2. The Australian curriculum

B3. Numeracy, science and technology

C. Early childhood pedagogies

C1. Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C4. Teaching methods and strategies

E. History and philosophy of early childhood

E2. Contemporary theories and practice


Topics will include:

  • Models of the mathematical knowledge for teaching
  • Mathematical content and proficiencies as detailed in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and other state and national documents
  • Numeracy demands across the curriculum (e.g. humanities and social sciences, science, The Arts)
  • Assessment practices including interviews and open-ended diagnostic tasks, that inform the learning and teaching of mathematics and reflect the significant connections between validity, fairness, a concern for justice and for the dignity of all human beings
  • Theories of learning for the teaching of mathematics are explored, with emphasis on those that support conceptual understanding
  • Influence of the teacher on student learning
  • Typical pathways/trajectories in young children’s mathematical learning, early years to late primary years, and its application to the design of learning experiences that are appropriate to student needs
  • Design of learning experiences and sequences which incorporate the use of manipulatives, words and symbols, students’ interests and numeracy across the curriculum in creating contexts, and digital technology
  • Plan, implementation and management of mathematical learning experiences for individual, group and whole class teaching and learning.

Mathematics content basis for the teaching in this Unit will be Number and Algebra (restricted to Whole Number including number and place value and including four operations and financial mathematics), Measurement (units of measurements) and Geometry (shape, location and transformation) as required in Primary School. This will include pre-service teacher reflection on and enhancement of their personal knowledge.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers should expect to participate in a range of the following: lectures, tutorials/workshops, seminar presentations and group discussions, both online and face-to-face, self-directed study activities and assessment tasks. Some participation in appropriate educational settings may be required, in particular tasks expected on classroom placement.

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video etc.

Technology Enhanced Learning

Technology use will be modelled by the teaching team to reflect the nature of technology in primary schools. Student online platforms will include the Learning Management System. Online materials will be available in advance and as post-learning material. The announcements platform will serve as the main communication platform for all students. The use of forums will be made available if required.

Assessment strategy and rationale

To enable assessment to best meet the needs of learners, three assessment tasks are outlined below. All learning outcomes are assessed. The three assessment tasks and their weightings are designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the course learning outcomes. 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. (

Through completing Task 1 pre-service teachers will have the opportunity consider the big ideas in teaching and learning mathematics. The second task builds on the learning of mathematics and focuses on seeking evidence of student learning and the development of tasks to build on students’ knowledge.  In Task 3 pre-service teachers will demonstrate the use of curriculum documents to create a sequence of learning activities and associated resources that enhance student understanding and proficiencies in mathematics. These assessment tasks model the ‘real world’ of classrooms and teaching responsibilities. These assessments also engage pre-service teachers in diverse forms of communication including: A journal, a resource report and presentation.

Minimum Achievement Standards

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

In order to pass this unit, students are required to complete all required assessment tasks as per the Assessment Policy and gain an overall pass mark.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Reflection

Critically reflect and develop a creative journal that draws together understandings from the lectures, tutorial/workshop activities and prescribed readings and observations from professional experiences. The journal entry demonstrates critical reflection and growing understanding of:

  • Big ideas about the content area
  • The use of mathematical knowledge in everyday situations (home and community)
  • Students’ misconceptions and difficulties when learning the content area,
  • Teaching strategies to best support the learning of all students,
  • The curriculum progression related to the content area.


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 2

Assess student learning, interpret and report on student data then recommend specifically targeted teaching plan.

Undertake an interview or observation with one child (between the ages of B to 12 years) for the purpose of assessing the child’s conceptual development in one of the content areas of Whole Number, Algebra, Measurement or Geometry as addressed in Early Years Learning Framework, or state and/or national curriculum documents relevant to this unit. Record the student’s responses accurately in respect to the interview questions. Interpret the data about the student and form judgments about their mathematical development with reference to a theoretical framework and curriculum progression. Summarise the data and judgements about the learner in a report suitable for reading by another teacher. Include research guided recommendations for a subsequent learning plan including a variety of resources (may include ICT, manipulatives, games and task cards) for the learner.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 3


Develop a digital presentation (e.g., PowerPoint, pod/vodcast, video, blog, webpage, Wiki, Mahara presentation) that:

  • Demonstrates the mathematical content knowledge (MCK) required for teaching a specific curriculum content area and related proficiencies addressed in the unit,
  • Includes a carefully constructed sequence of teaching and learning activities (at its most basic in the form of a lesson plan) that demonstrates application of MCK and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) to effectively teach concepts and/or skills from the identified curriculum content area, and
  • Includes a minimum of two resources (including manipulatives and ICT) to be used when implementing/teaching the activities.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum Mathematics.

Early Years Learning Framework

Relevant state and territory Mathematics curriculum documents.

Recommended references

Anghileri, J. (2006). Scaffolding practices that enhance mathematics learning. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 9(1), 33–52.

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

Copley, J. (2010). The young child and mathematics (2nd ed.). Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Forgasz, H., & Rivera, F. (2012). Towards equity in mathematics education: Gender, culture, and diversity. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.

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

Perry, B., Lowrie, T., Logan, T., MacDonald, A., & Greenlees, J. (2012). Research in mathematics education in Australasia 2008-2011. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.

Reys, R. E., Rogers, A., Bennett, S., Cooke, A., Robson, K., Ewing B., & West, J. (2019). Helping children learn mathematics (3rd Australian ed.). Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons Australia.

Siemon, D., Beswick, K., Brady, K., Clark, J., Faragher, R., & Warren, E. (2015). Teaching mathematics: Foundations to middle years (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Van de Walle, J., Karp, K., Bay-Williams, J., & Wray, J. (2017). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching developmentally – Mapped to the Australian Curriculum (9th ed.). Essex, England: Pearson Australia.

Wyatt-Smith, C., Elkins, J., & Gunn, S. (Eds.). (2011). Multiple perspectives on difficulties in learning literacy and numeracy (pp. 275-293). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

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