Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

At a time of rapid ongoing change as a result of globalisation, internationalisation and the continuing development of information communication technologies, the ability of educators and allied professionals to empower young people to develop substantive understanding of mathematics as a language to use in solving problems, making connections and communicating ideas in real life is of critical importance. In this unit students will critique literature on effective practices for teaching mathematics, including instructional models, influence of task type on learning, grouping practices, and meeting the needs of diverse learners. Students will explore the significance of, and influences on, teacher goals and beliefs and types of knowledge needed for teaching mathematics. Students will also examine models of teacher development and teacher change, strategies for stimulating reflective teaching, developing professional learning teams, and creating and supporting ongoing professional learning. Students will then have opportunities to apply these models to their own context. Therefore, the aim of this unit is to equip students with the advanced knowledge, integrated understanding and expert skills in relation to teaching mathematics and supporting professional development in this critically important domain.

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 - Locate research literature about the beliefs, goals and practices of effective teachers and the types of knowledge needed for teaching mathematics (GA1, GA3, GA9, GA10; APST 2.1HA, 2.2HA, 2.5HA) 

LO2 - Evaluate research about the effectiveness of different teaching strategies and classroom organisation, including international comparison studies, and consider the implications of the research for teaching practice in mathematics (GA4, GA6; APST 2.1HA, 2.2HA, 2.5HA) 

LO3 - Critique various models for teacher professional development and apply the dimensions of effective professional development processes to their leadership role/s in mathematics (GA5, GA6, GA8; APST 6.1HA, 6.2HA, 6.3HA, 6.4HA) 

LO4 - Develop a process of professional learning to meet the needs of a group of colleagues in mathematics (GA5, GA6, GA8; APST 2.1HA, 2.2HA, 2.3HA, 2.5HA, 3.1HA, 3.2HA, 3.3HA, 3.4HA, 3.5HA, 3.6HA, 5.1HA, 5.2HA, 5.4HA, 6.1HA, 6.2HA, 6.3HA, 6.4HA). 

Graduate attributes

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

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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 

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

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


On successful completion of this unit, students should have gained evidence towards the following standards:

2.1       Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area (Highly Accomplished)

2.2       Content selection and organisation (Highly Accomplished)

2.3       Curriculum, assessment and reporting (Highly Accomplished)

2.5       Literacy and numeracy strategies (Highly Accomplished)

3.1       Establish challenging learning goals (Highly Accomplished)

3.2       Plan, structure and sequence learning programs (Highly Accomplished)

3.3       Use teaching strategies (Highly Accomplished)

3.4       Select and use resources (Highly Accomplished)

3.5       Use effective classroom communication (Highly Accomplished)

3.6       Evaluate and improve teaching programs (Highly Accomplished)

5.1       Assess student learning (Highly Accomplished

5.2       Provide feedback to students on their learning (Highly Accomplished)

5.4       Interpret student data (Highly Accomplished)

6.1       Identify and plan professional learning needs (Highly Accomplished)

6.2       Engage in professional learning and improve practice (Highly Accomplished)

6.3       Engage with colleagues and improve practice (Highly Accomplished)

6.4       Apply professional learning and improve student learning (Highly Accomplished).


Topics will include: 

  • Dimensions of effective teachers of mathematics as identified by research, including goals, beliefs and practices 
  • Types of knowledge needed for teaching mathematics, including pedagogical content knowledge, deep connected content knowledge, knowledge of learning and of students 
  • Issues related to teaching mathematics, including relational and instrumental understanding, delivery modes (e.g. exposition, investigative learning), types of organisation for purpose (e.g. mixed-ability teaching, collaborative learning, achievement-based grouping), classroom norms, assessment, the impact of task structure (e.g. closed, open) and connections between these issues and theories of learning 
  • Teaching approaches used to support vulnerable and highly able students in learning mathematics 
  • Professional growth of teachers (models of professional growth, enhancing professional growth, impediments to professional growth) and syntheses of the research into teacher professional development in mathematics 
  • Professional standards for teaching mathematics especially The Association of Mathematics Teachers (2002) Standards of Excellence of Teachers of Mathematics and state documents. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in multi-mode Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum, therefore an active learning approach is utilised to support students in their exploration and demonstration of achievement of the unit’s identified learning outcomes. A range of strategies will be used to support active learning and may include: lectures, tutorials, workshops and seminars; synchronous and/or asynchronous digital engagement in reading/library tasks and presentations, learning activities, discussion forums and consultation as mediated through the LEO unit site. The set tasks may involve critical reading, on-line discussion of research, and consideration of implications for practice. Other modes of delivery may include webinars and presentations by students. Students also may engage in action research through Assessment Task Two.

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, workshops, and assignments etc.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, postgraduate students need to complete and submit two graded assessment tasks. The assessment strategy used allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and skill related to teaching mathematics.

The first task focuses on current literature in the field and the second task focuses on the application of that knowledge in specific contexts.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

An essay or presentation suitable for colleagues

Students will be required to develop a summary of the current literature in relation to one of the following topics:

  • Dimensions of quality teaching of mathematics,
  • Beliefs, goals and types of knowledge needed for teaching mathematics, or
  • Features of effective professional learning processes for teachers of mathematics.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2:

Extended writing task – report, journal article or personal diary

Students will be required to develop a response to one of the following options:

1. A report that summarises an action research project in which the effectiveness of a mathematics-focussed professional development process for teachers is evaluated. The format of the report includes sections on:

a. Description of the project including its aims;

b. Methodology of the action research and elaboration/justification of the choice of data and methods of accessing it;

c. Findings of the research related to the aims of the professional development process;

d. Recommendations about future professional development processes for the target group of teachers.

2.  A journal article suitable for submission that focuses on an issue about the teaching of mathematics. The article may be a literature review or report the results of a design experiment in which a specific area of mathematics is taught.

3. A personal diary with supporting evidence from colleagues and students that describes a process of attempted change in teaching mathematics. The diary should explain the rationale for the attempted change, document related research literature, and provide daily reflections on the change process. A summary reflection on the effectiveness of the process is also required.


LO3, LO4

GA4. GA5, GA6, GA8

Representative texts and references

Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT). (2002). Professional standards for excellence in the teaching of mathematics. Adelaide: AAMT. Retrieved from

Sullivan, P., Clarke, B., & Clarke, D. (2013). Teaching with tasks for effective mathematics learning. New York: Springer.

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