Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians states that successful learners have essential skills in literacy and numeracy, are able to think deeply and logically, and are able to make sense of their world and solve problems in creative and innovative ways.

This unit uses a problem-solving approach and an emphasis on deep learning and deep knowledge of foundation mathematical content knowledge needed for teaching and participation in everyday life. Development and refinement of mathematical skills in estimation and computation, problem solving, and investigations are explored in the areas of number, measurement and data. Technical mathematical language is explored. Developing independent learners is a focus with students self-diagnosing areas for personal further development to broaden and deepen their understanding. The content and assessment in this unit highlights the ways to further develop mathematical content knowledge and how it is used in real-world contexts.

This unit aims to equip students with conceptual understanding of mathematics, skills in communicating and problem solving for teaching in primary schools.

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 - demonstrate understanding and application of mathematical concepts (GA6) 

LO2 - demonstrate an understanding of the interconnectedness of different mathematical topics and their application to real world contexts (GA8) 

LO3 - communicate mathematical thinking and reasoning using mathematical language including, spoken, written and visual representations (GA9, GA10) 

LO4 - solve a variety of mathematical problems and tasks (GA4) 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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

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

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


Topics will include: 

  • Numbers and Counting 
  • Place value;  
  • Natural numbers, integers, factors, prime numbers; 
  • Computational strategies including mental, estimation and use of calculators; 
  • Rational numbers and their representations as fractions and decimal fractions, percentages, simple operations with fractions; 
  • Additive and multiplicative thinking. 
  • Foundations of Measurement  
  • Length, area, mass, volume and time  
  • Metric and other measurement systems 
  • Relationships between units 
  • Estimating, recording and measuring. 
  • Representation and interpretation of data 
  • Population and samples; 
  • Measures of centre and spread within the data; 
  • Summarising, analysing, presenting, interpreting data. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is delivered in away-from-base mode with intensive learning residential blocks twice a semester. A variety of learning and teaching approaches are sequenced and integrated to comprise a progressive and developmental learning and teaching strategy emphasising collaborative learning and cultural sensitivity. Students are expected to share experiences and challenges with each colleague students in order to develop a community of mathematical practice. The unit employs stimulating adult learning strategies to maximise student engagement and critical reflection. These include: 

  • Face to face learning – seminars, tutorials and workshops 
  • Collaborative learning 
  • Practical activities 
  • Self-directed study 
  • Required readings 
  • Multi-media sources and viewing 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks for this unit have been designed to contribute to high quality student learning by both helping students learn (assessment for learning), and by measuring explicit evidence of their learning (assessment of learning). Assessments have been developed to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. The assessment tasks provide multiple opportunities (presentation, problem solving and examination) in different ways (visual, verbal and written) for students to demonstrate: 

  • Knowledge of content  
  • Application of mathematics in real world contexts 
  • Development, use and communication of appropriate mathematical language 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Hurdle task 

Develop a self-directed learning action plan, report on its implementation and evaluate with personal critical reflection its impact on learning. 


LO1, LO2 

GA4, GA8, GA9 

Assessment Task 1: Presentation 

Individual or paired task 

Present the findings of an investigative task which uses mathematics in a real world context.   


L01, LO2, LO3 

GA8, GA9, GA10 

Assessment Task 2: Problem Solving Portfolio 

Problem Solving Folio demonstrating capacity in problem solving, conceptual understanding, procedural proficiency and reflection on learning. 


L01, LO2, LO4 

GA4, GA6, GA8 

Assessment Task 3: Final Examination 

Written examination demonstrating an understanding of key mathematical content and problem solving skills undertaken in the unit. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA4, GA6, GA8 

Representative texts and references

Boaler, J. (2015). The elephant in the classroom: Helping children learn and love maths (2nd ed.). London, UK: Souvenir Press. 

Booker, G. (2011). Building numeracy: Moving from diagnosis to intervention. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press. 

Croft, A., & Davison, R. (2016). Foundation maths (6th ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Limited. 

De Klerk, J., Marasco, A., & Gorton, W. (2014). Pearson illustrated maths dictionary (5th ed., Always learning). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia. 

Du Sautoy, M. (2011). The number mysteries: A mathematical odyssey through everyday life (1st Palgrave Macmillan ed.). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Haylock, D., & Manning, R. (2014). Mathematics explained for primary teachers (5th ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE. 

Jacobs, H. R. (2002). Mathematics: A human endeavour: A book for those who think they don’t like the subject (3rd ed.). New York, NY: W. H. Freeman. 

Reys, R. (2017). Helping children learn mathematics (2nd ed.). Milton, Qld: Wiley. 

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