Dr Calvin Irons BA. MA. PhD. (Mathematics and Mathematics Education)
The process has begun – finally. We hope that the work to review the mathematics (and digital technologies) curriculum over the next 12 months does indeed result in clarity about what is to be taught. The seemingly poor performance by our students in mathematics should not be blamed on them or their teachers. The jargon and lists of poorly connected ideas in the current mathematics curriculum does indeed make it challenging to comprehend. Read more
Written by James Burnett
This past month, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) began its review of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics to “refine, realign and declutter” the content. This was most likely due to Australia’s poor showing on recent international tests in mathematics. The original standards were written with the intention of addressing the “inch deep and mile wide” curricula that each state had at that time. It’s aim was to provide greater focus to key content in the years where it mattered most, while also freeing up teachers’ time to address that refocus by removing the less essential content. Unfortunately, they missed the mark. Although ACARA affirms that the current standards are “consistent with some of the best curricula internationally,” we are still using valuable teaching hours in the early grades to address less relevant topics, such as probability. Incidentally, our economic peers in Singapore, Finland, and the USA all omitted probability from the early years of their primary curricula long ago. Read more
Effective maths teachers are using technology to aid student engagement and promote new learning methods, according to new research from Western Sydney University.
Professor Kim Beswick from the University of New South Wales discusses her research into Mathematics success and engagement at the secondary level, highlighting the importance of teaching low attainers to act like high attainers, and learn in the same ways that successful learners learn.
According to Dr Carol Aldous of Flinders University, there is strong evidence that intuitive, non-cognitive thought processes – including creativity and emotion – are vital to solving mathematical problems.
Professor Chris Walsh from Victoria University and Dr Leicha A. Bragg of Deakin University have co-developed a free new resource for teachers that aims to enhance pedagogical knowledge and skills in the fields of numeracy and mathematics; and build confidence in teaching numeracy.