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EDMA291 Mathematics Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 2 (F-6)

Unit rationale, description and aim

In school education, numeracy and mathematics education are fundamental components of learning, performance, discourse and critique across all areas of the curriculum and they are recognised as a General Capability. In primary schools, leadership of mathematics education is paramount to improving learning outcomes for Australian students. The school leadership activity of middle leading is required within classrooms, across grades/stages/year levels, and at the whole school level. Middle leadership of mathematics education in schools is multifaceted, and as classroom teachers with a special interest in mathematics education, undertaking middle leading in informal ways and through formal leadership roles like that of mathematics coordinator and/or year-level coordinator may become future practice. As such, expectations and responsibilities exist concerning the leadership of curriculum and instruction within the classroom and across the school.

In this unit, pre-service teachers will further develop their understanding of school-based strengths and potential areas of development in mathematics education, particularly curriculum, assessment, and pedagogy. Being aware of school-based structures, pre-service teachers will: explore ways to develop teacher knowledge, practices, and dispositions through professional learning in the mathematics curriculum, assessment and pedagogy; use evidence-based approaches as a way to support the development of teaching of mathematics; and, develop strategic ways of addressing school-based goals that align with evidence-based approaches.

The aim of this unit is to initiate the development of pre-service teachers’ leadership content knowledge, and how this specifically relates to the leadership of mathematics education in primary schools. This specialised knowledge will be used to develop understanding of the content of this unit.

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     Summarise research-based mathematics education practices and effective teaching, including leadership of learning strategies leadership strategies (GA4, GA5, APST 1.1, 1.2)

LO2     Demonstrate understanding of the characteristics and function of middle leading practices that support teacher professional learning that aligns with specific goals for improvement (GA5, GA8, APST 6.1, 6.2, 6.4)

LO3     Critically reflect and evaluate feedback and implement strategies to support professional learning associated with mathematics education practices (GA5, GA8, GA9; APST 1.2 1.5, 2.1, 2.3)

LO4    Formulate and critique mathematics teaching and learning practices with alignment to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level and beyond (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9; APST 2.1, 2.3, 2.5, 3.6, 7.1, 7.2).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


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

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

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.

2.3 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.

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

6.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learnings. 

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.


Topics will include:

  • Leadership activity development by understanding and leading self to working with and influencing others to being a catalyst of change
  • Principles and practices of middle leading in primary schools with focus on mathematics leadership activity in primary schools
  • Knowledge types required for middle leading in mathematics education, including mathematical knowledge for teaching and leadership content knowledge
  • Whole school approaches to mathematics teaching and learning and using data literacy skills to interpret school data sources to set whole-school directions
  • Evidence-based effective teaching and learning strategies that lead mathematics education within the classroom and the school
  • Role of relational trust in middle leading and its importance in leading mathematics education in primary schools
  • Using feedback and coaching practices to monitor and modify own instructional practices and those of colleagues
  • Review of literature that focuses on reflective practitioner processes and professional learning for practising teachers in mathematics education
  • Mentoring others and building a community of practice for mathematics teaching and learning
  • Professional associations for numeracy and mathematics teaching and learning
  • Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level and beyond 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit applies a social constructivist strategy to develop pre-service teachers’ knowledge and practices in supporting self (understanding and leading self) and other teachers’ professional learning (working with and influencing others) in mathematics education. Pre-service teachers will have the opportunity to build on their mathematical knowledge for teaching (knowledge of mathematics education, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment) and initiate development of leadership content knowledge through critical reading, lecturer modelling, critical analysis of education policies and procedures, and workshop engagement. Pre-service teachers’ knowledge and practices in assessment development, data analysis, task design, and student monitoring will be practised and extended through workshop activities.

The teaching and learning strategy may include:

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


Technology Enhanced Learning

The unit will include a Learning Environment Online (LEO) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between on campus content and school experiences. It may include:

  • Discussion forums to exchange ideas and refine learning
  • Video illustrations of teaching practice and focused readings addressing a wide spectrum of teaching contexts, practices and competencies
  • Video lecture content
  • Webinars and podcasts

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the course learning outcomes by demonstrating  attainment of academic and professional standards. The Mathematics Specialisation Elective units in this course focus on developing understanding of, and skills across the professional knowledge, practice and engagement domains needed to meet expectations of the ACECQA criteria and the APST: Graduate level.

Assessment Task 1 is an early low-weighted assessment task which provides feedback to pre-service teachers within the first six weeks of the standard semester. This task enables  teaching staff to identify pre-service teachers who are experiencing difficulties locating and summarising pertinent information relating to their own problem of practice (understanding and leading self). Assessment Task 2 focuses on leadership within the classroom through the development of an action plan to improve the pre-service teacher’s own pedagogical and classroom practice (understand and leading self).  Assessment Task 3 focuses on developing the leadership skills of the pre-service teacher by enabling them to develop a Mathematics Leadership Activity Plan (MLAP) along with a professional learning cycle inquiry plan (working with and influencing others) that supports the achievement of MLAP goals.

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 to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, you are required to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes by submitting all assessment tasks . An overall pass grade is required and a pass grade in assessment task 3 to meet learning outcome 4.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Assessment task submission and return of marked assessment will be done through Turnitin on LEO. Tasks will be marked and returned three weeks after the assessment is completed.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Identifying a Problem of Practice:

Critical Professional Review through an Annotated Bibliography and Synthesis of Themes (Understanding and leading self)

 Collate all previous professional experience mathematics education feedback, including report books, anecdotal feedback, formal and informal feedback about your teaching practice in mathematics. This may be from a formal practical experience in schools or another setting where you were required to teach mathematics.

Recognising the importance of “leader as learner”, engage in reflective practice and identify a problem in your own mathematics pedagogy using those data sources to identify an instructional issue that links directly to impact on student learning.

Use the following guiding questions:

  • What strengths of your mathematics teaching practice are identified in the feedback?
  • What issues are identified in the feedback?
  • What did your own reflective practice identify?
  • What changes could be made?
  • Why would these changes need to be made?
  • What does research/evidence in literature state could be done differently in your own teaching practice?
  • How do the proposed changes align with school/system/state/national policy and directions?

Brainstorm a problem of practice that is about your own teaching instruction, which is observable, actionable and focuses on your own pedagogical improvement. The problem of practice is a specific statement or question that will guide your line of inquiry with this assessment task. It should also guide development of your future teaching of mathematics.


Viewing this problem as an opportunity for growth and development, access and read 8 – 10 mathematics education literature sources that align with the problem of practice and write an annotated bibliography for each literature source.

Include a summary that acts as a synthesis of all annotated texts that identifies major themes, concepts, pedagogical practices, and anomalies that are evident across all texts.


LO1, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2

 Action Plan for Addressing a Problem of Practice in Mathematics Education: Enacting Implications from Research to Develop Practice

(Understanding and leading self)

 Drawing on the summary of themes from the annotated bibliography, identify a series of implications that could be enacted that address your chosen problem of practice. These implications will provide the inspiration for growth and development in your own mathematics teaching practice. 


Develop a 10-week problem of practice action plan informed by those implications as well as other ideas from the annotated bibliography and its summary.


Include a focus on instructional and/or systemic issues (guided by your research, policies and procedures); a directly observable process you will undertake; professional learning you can access; the ways in which you can measure change (evidence sources of impact); resources to facilitate that change; and, a timeline for this process.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 3

Develop a Mathematics Leadership Activity Plan for a Professional Learning Cycle Inquiry

(Working with and influencing others)

Review a school’s strategic improvement goals and direction for mathematics education. Identify specific elements required to meet the school’s goals by focusing on potential teacher professional learning development. Develop a research-based rationale that aligns with those elements by designing a Mathematics Leadership Activity Plan (MLAP) that would be used to guide the leadership of a Professional Learning Cycle Inquiry.   


Develop a 10-week planner that identifies weekly professional learning modules teachers undertake to work towards achieving the goals of the MLAP. This 10-week professional learning planner would elaborate on the leadership actions of the MLAP, and it will be used to inform a Professional Learning Cycle Inquiry. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Australian Curriculum National Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions

Australian Professional Teaching Standards


Recommended references

Andrà, C., Brunetto, D., Levenson, E., & Liljedahl, P. (2017). Teaching and learning in maths classrooms (Research in Mathematics Education). Cham: Springer.

Buchbinder, O., & Kuntze, S. (2018). Mathematics teachers engaging with representations of practice (ICME-13 Monographs). Cham: Springer .

Clements, M.A.K., Bishop, A., Keitel-Kreidt, C., Kilpatrick, J., & Leung, F.K.-S. (Eds.) (2013). Third international handbook of mathematics education. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.

English, L., & Kirshner, D. (Eds) (2016). Handbook of international research in mathematics education. New York, NY : Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Gaffney, M., & Faragher, R. (2014). Leading improvements in student numeracy. Melbourne, Vic: ACER Press.

Grootenboer, P. (2018). The practices of school middle leadership: Leading professional learning. Singapore: Springer.

Schuck, S., & Pereira, P. (2011). What counts in teaching mathematics. Vol. 11, Self Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices, pp.1-9. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

Reys, R.E., Rogers, A., Bennett, S., Cooke, A., Ewing, B., & West, J. (2020). Helping children learn mathematics (3rd Australian ed.). Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons.

Schuck, S., & Pereira, P. (2011). What counts in teaching mathematics. In S. Schuck & P. Pereira (Eds.), Self-study of teaching and teacher education practices (Vol. 11, pp.1-9). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Van de Walle, J. A., Karp, K., Bay-Williams, J., & Brass, A. (2019). Primary and middle years mathematics: Teaching developmentally. Melbourne, Vic: Pearson.

Way, J., Attard, C., Anderson, J., Bobis, J., McMaster, H., & Cartwright, K. (2020). Research in mathematics education in Australasia 2016-2019. Singapore: Springer.

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