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EDMA100 Fundamentals of Mathematics and Numeracy

Unit rationale, description and aim

According to the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration (2019), “Every student must develop strong literacy and numeracy skills in their earliest years of schooling”. To become an effective teacher, educators must possess deep content knowledge to model, investigate explore and discuss mathematics using a variety of approaches which will provide learners with the foundation for successful lifelong learning.

This unit uses a problem-solving approach and an emphasis on deep learning of important mathematical content knowledge needed for understanding young ’students’ mathematical ideas. The mathematical focus areas include number and algebra, measurement and space, and chance and data, as reflected in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics. There is a particular emphasis on pre-service teachers reflecting on their own understanding of these areas and engaging in problem-based tasks, discussions and research literature to broaden and deepen their understanding. The content and assessment in this unit embed this understanding in authentic contexts and meaningful representational tasks. A consideration of historical and cultural development of these focus areas will also situate mathematics in a multicultural and global society.

The aim of this unit is to provide educators with a deep understanding of the foundational content knowledge required to recognise how early engagement with, and discussions about, mathematical ideas with young students can pave the way to successful mathematics learning.  

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 enhanced understanding of mathematics including the correct use of terms, notation and common errors in thinking (GA5; APST 2.1; ACECQA C1, F5)

LO2 - Explore and apply a variety of problem-solving strategies and computational approaches to solving mathematical problems (GA5; APST 2.1; ACECQA C1, C4)

LO3 - Explain the structure inherent in various mathematical systems and undertake mathematical modelling to develop expertise in the field of mathematics (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1; ACECQA B3)

LO4 - Describe the historical and cultural development of number, measurement and space (GA5, GA6, GA8; APST 2.1; ACECQA E1, E2, F5).

Graduate attributes

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:

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


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

B. Education and curriculum studies:

B3  Numeracy, science and technology

C. Teaching pedagogies:

C1  Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C4  Teaching methods and strategies

E. History and philosophy of early childhood:

E1  Historical and comparative perspectives

E2  Contemporary theories and practice

F.   Early childhood professional practice

F5 research


Topics will be selected from:

  • Number Systems: 
  • Natural numbers and counting
  • Whole numbers, integers, fractions
  • Properties of numbers: base 10 system, multiples, factors, primes, number patterns
  • Basic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Patterns and Algebra
  • Space
  • Two-dimensional and three-dimensional space: classification and properties
  • Angles
  •  Position
  • Measurement 
  • Length, time, area, volume and capacity
  • Metric and other measurement systems
  • Accuracy of measurement
  • Estimation
  • Chance and Probability
  • Data and Statistics
  • Problem solving and computational strategies
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Mathematics in other cultures
  • History of mathematics
  • Mathematics as empowerment. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit may be offered on-campus, online or in a blended mode. 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 teaching period comprising of directed tasks and self-study. This unit positions pre-service teachers as adult learners with responsibility for their own learning and who are capable of problem solving. The learning in this unit is inquiry-based, learner-focused and student centred.

Teaching and learning strategies are designed to be flexible and promote self-regulated and guided learning, underpinned by adult learning principles and will include:

  • Lectures face-to-face or online to enhance knowledge
  • Seminars, tutorials or workshops; online activities to engage in active learning
  • Reading guides which involve directed reading as well as self-directed online study materials
  • Discussion Forum online postings and responses designed to encourage peer collaboration
  • Webinars and podcasts for lecturer and student communication

Technology Enhanced Learning

This unit uses ‘Learning Environment Online’ (LEO) for the provision of lecture and tutorial content, required and/or further readings, and other unit material. Recorded lectures will be made available to students through LEO.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the unit learning outcomes. The first assessment is a diagnostic test which will not be used as part of the formal assessment process. It will be completed by each student, and will inform on individual strengths and weaknesses. This is followed by assessment tasks 1 and 2 which are both criterion-referenced and designed to demonstrate that the learning outcomes have been met. The final assessment task is an exam assessing the learning outcomes and content that is taught and practiced throughout the unit. These three types of assessments involve a variety of tasks to challenge students’ learning and enable differentiation of achievement and be equitable and ethical. The assessments engage pre-service teachers in diverse forms of communication including: A report, a presentation and an examination.

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 submit all assessment tasks, meet the learning outcomes of the unit and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Mathematics in the Real World


Investigate the historical or cultural development of number or space. Compare the development across different cultures. 


Select a profession e.g. carpentry, retail manager, chef, delivery person. Identify the mathematics used within the profession in alignment with the job requirements. Provide real-life examples and a range of solution strategies.

The report could be in either written or digital format. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 2

Problem Solving Folio

Pre-service teachers are required to solve a range of problems, reflecting on the mathematical thinking and reasoning strategies used in the solution process. Demonstrating an understanding of the deep learning and knowledge required in each of the content areas


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 3

Written examination: demonstrating an understanding of key mathematical content and problem-solving skills.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA5, GA6, GA8

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Oxford University Press UK (2020). Oxford Student’s Mathematics Dictionary. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Recommended texts

Bassarear, T. (2020). Mathematics for elementary school teachers (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Billstein, R., Libeskind, S., & Lott, J. W. (2016). A problem solving approach to mathematics (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Addison Wesley.

Brady, K., & Winn, T. (2017). Maths skills for success at university. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Clarke, D. M. (1996). The case of the mystery bone: A unit of work on measurement for grades 5 to 8. North Ryde, NSW: The Mathematical Association of New South Wales.

De Klerk, J. (2019). Illustrated maths dictionary (5th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Pearson Education.

Haylock, D. (2019). Mathematics explained for primary teachers (6th ed.). London: Sage Publications.

Thiel, O., & Perry, B. (2019). Innovative approaches in early childhood mathematics. New York, NY: Routledge.

Waite, S. (2017). Children learning outside the classroom: From birth to eleven. London: Sage.

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