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EDMA262 Mathematics: Learning and Teaching 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

In this unit pre-service teachers will develop and implement a culturally aware and responsive curriculum and pedagogy that demonstrates concern for justice and the dignity of all, specifically in early childhood and primary mathematics (three to twelve years). Promoting pre-service teacher critical thinking and judgement, this unit will explore theories of children's mathematical learning, as well as, reported research into mathematics education issues and their implications for learning and teaching. The structure and content of early years frameworks and primary education mathematics curriculum will be critically reviewed with reference to relevant national, state or territory documents, with particular emphasis on rational number, algebra, and statistics and probability. This unit will promote cognitive skills to analyse, consolidate and synthesise a range of different learning activities and teaching approaches. A range of formal and informal assessment strategies will be examined with an emphasis on using student data to inform and differentiate learning and teaching: report on student achievement and meet professional accountability requirements.

This unit aims to provide pre-service teachers with depth in understanding the underlying principles and concepts that enable teachers to critically evaluate strategies in planning, implementing, monitoring and assessing learning experiences for students in early childhood and primary mathematics (three to twelve years).

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 - Review critically, analyse, consolidate and synthesise the effectiveness of a range of different types of mathematics learning experiences that contribute to an inclusive mathematics pedagogy, including open-ended tasks, teacher questioning and learning experiences that cater for the diverse needs of learners, ICTs and appropriate assessment and reporting practices (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 1.5, 2.5, 2.6, 3.3, 5.1, 5.4; ACECQA B3, B9)

LO2 - Use initiative and creativity to reflect upon and make informed judgements about the appropriateness of generally agreed principles of learning and teaching mathematics (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 1.2; ACECQA B3)

LO3 - Present a clear and coherent knowledge of research about, pedagogical approaches, student understandings and dispositions in relation to rational number, algebra, and statistics and probability (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 1.2, 2.1, 2.5; ACECQA B3)

LO4 - Make informed judgements about planning for mathematics teaching with reference to early childhood and primary national and state mathematics curriculum documents (GA4, GA8; APST 2.2, 2.3, 3.2; ACECQA B1, B2, B3, B9)

LO5 - Demonstrate personal competence and confidence in mathematical knowledge to a level appropriate for a graduate teacher, concepts and processes related to rational number, algebra, and statistics and probability (GA5; APST 2.1; ACECQA B3).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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


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.

1.5 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.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.5 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.

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:

B. Education and curriculum studies 

B1. Early Years Learning Framework

B2. The Australian curriculum

B3. Numeracy, science and technology

B9. Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation


Topics will include:

  • Research informed approaches to successful mathematics learning that are responsive to the strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. 
  • The role of mathematical investigation and open tasks for constructing mathematical knowledge and orchestrating mathematical discourse, argument and proof.
  • Effective resources that support and enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics (e.g., ICTs, physical, graphic and virtual materials )
  • Assessment practices to guide learning teaching of mathematics: (e.g., informal, formal, and diagnostics approaches to initial, formative and summative assessment of cognitive and affective learning.
  • Approaches for planning mathematics teaching:

a.    Integrating the content strands of the Australian Curriculum Mathematics: facilitate connections across dimensions of mathematics;

b.    Identifying opportunities to use Numeracy across the curriculum;

c.    Effective contexts for mathematics learning (e.g., children’s literature, real life contexts, games, problem solving and investigations, natural environments, and play);

d.    Incorporating the Australian Curriculum Proficiencies into program planning in mathematics: Early children to twelve years

  • Powerful pedagogical actions in mathematics (e.g. creating powerful learning environments (grouping practices, scaffolding learning, attending to literacy demands, promoting productive discourse and collaborative argumentation, questioning and prompting), selecting tasks and models that promote deep learning and knowing and using pedagogical knowledge.
  • Current national, state, and territory initiatives in mathematics education
  • Relevant national, state and territory curriculum documents and assessment.
  • The teaching of rational number, algebra, and chance and data will form the content basis of this unit.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to progress and demonstrate their understandings in this unit. A variety of techniques will be used. These may include lectures, tutorials, workshops, self-guided tasks, web-based tasks and fieldwork.

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 with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then become private study.

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 and demonstrate attainment of professional standards.

Minimum Achievement Standards

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

The total assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 4000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


Mathematics Video and Implementation Report

Groups of 3


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8


Family Information Session and Pamphlet

Groups of 3


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8


Evaluating Assessment Strategies

Individual task


LO1, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Relevant national, state and territory curriculum documents and study designs for primary school students.

Bobis, J., Mulligan, J., & Lowrie, T. (2009). Mathematics for children: challenging children to think mathematically (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Booker, G., Bond, D, Sparrow, L., & Swan, P. (2010). Teaching primary mathematics (4th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education.

Macmillan, A. (2011). Numeracy in early childhood: Shared contexts for teaching and learning. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

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

Reys, R. E., Lindquist, M. M., Lambdin, D. V., Smith, N. L., Rogers, A., Falle, J. & Bennett S. (2012). Helping children learn mathematics (1st Australian ed.). Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons Australia.

Smith, M.S., & Stein, M.K. (in press). Orchestrating productive mathematics discussions: What can novice teachers learn? In. L. Resnick, C. Asterhan, & S. Clarke (Eds.), Socializing intelligence through academic talk and dialogue. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.

Smith, M.S., Cartier, J., Stein, M.K., & Ross, D (2013) Five practices for orchestrating task-based discussions in science. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Sperry Smith, S. (2009). Early childhood mathematics (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Van de Walle, J. A., Karp, K. S., Bay-Williams, J. M (2013). Elementary and middle school mathematics: Teaching Developmentally (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Reference will be made also to research publications and yearly conference proceedings published by national and state associations of mathematics teachers, Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA), International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (PME), and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

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