EDF4037 - Thinking mathematically in primary education - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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




Dr Ann Downton (Berwick)

Dr Jill Cheeseman (Peninsula)

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit focuses on developing advanced understanding of thinking mathematically in primary education, with particular emphasis on the local and Australian curriculum for the primary years including mathematical reasoning and problem solving. Students extend and synthesise their understanding of conceptual frameworks, which reflect the complexity of children's mathematical growth across the curriculum. They research the challenges associated with mathematical content in diverse contexts, and are expected to research, adopt and design pedagogical approaches that support and challenge children to be mathematicians. Approaches which stimulate conjecturing, testing and mathematical justification are introduced and modelled, researched and critically analysed. Students critically engage with current research, practice and policy throughout the unit.


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

  1. demonstrate critical understanding of the local and Australian curriculum for the primary years and the fundamental importance of mathematical reasoning
  2. gain an advanced understanding of thinking mathematically and its implications for teaching
  3. develop varying strategies and skills for researching, analysing and developing effective pedagogical approaches towards problem solving and investigations
  4. engage in deep reflection on their personal and professional learning
  5. research, understand and implement varying classroom strategies that link mathematics to practical applications and problems
  6. develop techniques for inclusive practices and understand the importance of adopting inclusive practices in relation to the teaching and learning of mathematics.


Research report on the design, trialling and evaluation of problem-based mathematics lessons (2000 words equivalent, 50%)

Case study of the mathematical reasoning of primary students (2000 words equivalent, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus students:
    • 2 contact hours per week
  2. Additional requirements:
    • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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