Faculty of Education

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedPeninsula Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Karina Wilkie


This unit is framed around the importance of teachers having a profound and flexible understanding of fundamental mathematics, particularly as it relates to number and algebra. The core of the unit involves students working in groups on carefully selected mathematics problems that focus on a deep conceptual and connected understanding of number and early algebra. Carefully chosen problems, together with whole class discussion emerging from students' work on the problems, challenge students to reason about the mathematics and develop their problem-solving skills. Importantly, students are encouraged to view learning as supported by dialogue and to develop their own understandings through working with others' thinking on a topic. Students learn to communicate mathematical ideas effectively, using a range of media including information and communication technologies (ICTs).


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the mathematical content underpinning number and algebra in the primary school curriculum
  2. show awareness of how the concepts and structure of primary number and algebra relate to the mathematics for secondary schooling and beyond
  3. demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the historical and cultural nature of number and operations and how this relates to education of students from diverse backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  4. display confidence in being a competent and creative mathematics learner who can foster these attributes in their own learners.


Report and reflection on a problem-solving activity (can include individual and/or group work) (1600 words or equivalent per student, 40%)
Project report on the historical and cultural aspects of a mathematical topic (can include individual and/or group work) (2400 words or equivalent per student, 60%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • 2 hour workshop per week

(b.) Additional requirements:

  • 10 hours of independent study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study