EDF5020 - Early years numeracy and critical thinking - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Chief examiner(s)

Jennifer Hall


Jennifer Hall

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


This unit explores how numeracy concepts develop as young children experience meaningful opportunities to develop their mathematical thinking in a range of settings such as home, childcare, school and community. It focuses on understanding and developing children's thinking in mathematics from infancy through to the early years of school. The content addresses key early numeracy ideas and pedagogical strategies for enhancing children's mathematical development through play, inquiry and problem solving. Students engage with current research, policy and practice on early years numeracy and the enhancement of young children's mathematical reasoning. Students investigate tools, technologies and processes for monitoring children's thinking and fostering their mathematical progress in inclusive ways. Students reflect on their own experiences and perspectives as mathematics learners to develop an awareness of how their beliefs about numeracy influence their interactions with children. They consider strategies for their ongoing learning and development.


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

  1. demonstrate advanced knowledge of relevant curriculum documentation on early years numeracy and an in-depth understanding of key numeracy concepts for young children in each of the mathematics strands
  2. identify everyday learning experiences in a range of settings that foster young children's mathematical thinking and reasoning
  3. reflect critically on their experiences, perspectives and beliefs about numeracy and demonstrate an awareness of their ongoing professional development needs in mathematics teaching and learning
  4. synthesise findings and information in the research literature about how young children become numerate and strategies for promoting their ability to think mathematically
  5. demonstrate the capacity to use tools, technologies and processes for monitoring children's thinking and fostering their mathematical progress.


Synthesis of current research literature on young children's mathematical thinking (1600 words, 40%)

Observation of young children's mathematical thinking (2400 words equivalent, 60%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus students:
    • equivalent to 24 hours engagement in online, face-to-face or blended platforms
  2. Additional requirements (all students)
    • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per semester

See also Unit timetable information

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