Course Title: Mathematics in the Middle School

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Mathematics in the Middle School

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


360H Education


Sem 2 2009

Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Dianne Siemon

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7916

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Successful completion of TCHE2117 and TCHE2118 is recommended before attempting this course

Course Description

Data from the Middle Years Numeracy Research project indicates that teachers working in professional teams in a coordinated and purposeful way make a significant difference to student numeracy outcomes, particularly where there is concerted focus on ‘good’ mathematics teaching. That is, the use of problem solving, extended discussion, student explanations, rich assessment and a range of materials, tasks and activities. However, the research also suggests that systems and schools still face a significant challenge in recognising and dealing with the issues involved in teaching and learning mathematics at this level. ‘Hotspots’ identified by the research suggest that we need to pay careful attention to the ‘big ideas’ in mathematics and foster students’ capacity to critically reflect on their learning. In particular, it would appear that we need to focus on the development of place-value, multiplicative thinking, rational number ideas, and what is needed to help students progress to the next ‘big idea’.

One of the objects of teaching and learning mathematics is to help the learner create meaningful mental objects that can be manipulated, considered, and used flexibly and creatively to achieve some purpose. This requires that teachers are knowledgeable of developmental pathways and key learning trajectories, so that all students at all levels have the opportunity to learn the mathematics they need to progress to further study and effective, rewarding citizenship. It is no longer acceptable that students leave school without the foundation knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to be able to function effectively in modern society. This includes the ability to read, interpret and act upon a much larger range of texts than those encountered by previous generations.

This course will focus on the teaching of mathematics for numeracy development of students in the upper primary primary and junior secondary years of schooling. This course will stress the importance of designing rich and exciting mathematical learning experiences for students at this level to lay the foundation for continued numeracy development across all key learning areas and to promote the development of mathematical problem solving and thinking skills necessary for a technological age.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

As a result of completing this course it is expected that students will be able to demonstrate:
• a belief in the importance of mathematics curricula and pedagogies, a keenness to improve their knowledge and skills in the field of mathematics education, and a positive and confident attitude towards the teaching of mathematics.
• an understanding of mathematics curriculum in the middle years in terms of the major concepts and processes associated with particular mathematics ideas; the hierarchical and integrated nature of mathematics as exhibited by these topics; the everyday usage of these topics; the importance of rich conceptual mathematics knowledge as the foundation for numeracy development; and the importance of creating a rich mathematical learning environment to promote the development of students’ problem solving and thinking skills.

• a knowledge of major pedagogical-content issues and strategies in numeracy development in the middle years and a capacity to identify, justify, plan, implement, and evaluate effective mathematics learning situations for students in Years 4 to 9.
• an appreciation of the role of technology in promoting mathematics learning and numeracy development.
• a knowledge of some of the key issues and policy directions associated with the teaching mathematics in the middle years of schooling;
• an understanding of the concept of critical numeracy and its importance in a rapidly changing information and technology-rich society.
• an ability to effectively use Information Communication Technology, and to communicate in both written and oral forms in a scholarly and academically appropriate manner.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course will be presented in a combination tutorial and independent/group study mode. You are expected to attend all classes, read the prescribed readings as indicated, actively seek additional resources, participate in class and/or school-based activities as required, take notes, complete assigned tasks, engage in peer group discussions, critically reflect on their experiences in relation to TCHE2148, and complete assessment tasks in accordance with the published guidelines.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will utilise a range of profesional readings in the area, policy and curriculum documents as well as access relevant web based resources to support your learning.

Overview of Assessment

You will demonstrate your learning through your active participation in class discussions and activities as well as satisfactorily complete the course's assessment tasks.