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EDX1280 Foundations of Numeracy

Semester 2, 2015 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood

Contents on this page


Examiner: Seyum Getenet
Moderator: Stephen Winn


Numeracy is a core learning area of the curriculum and is considered to be one of the building blocks of education for work and life. Numeracy is closely linked to mathematics, and involves using "some mathematics to achieve some purpose in a particular context" (DEST, 2000, p.14). To be numerate is to use mathematics effectively to meet the general demands of life at home, in paid work, and for participation in community and civic life.
In school education, numeracy is a fundamental component of learning, performance, discourse and critique across all areas of the curriculum. It involves the disposition to use, in context, a combination of underpinning mathematical concepts and skills from across the discipline (numerical, spatial, graphical, statistical and algebraic); mathematical thinking and strategies; general thinking skills; and grounded appreciation of context (AAMT, 1997, p.15).
Mathematics education has grown to become a recognised and significant research area in education. Its theories are based on analysis of the structure of mathematical tasks, the psychology of teaching and learning, and an understanding of the effect of social context on learning. Research on expertise in teaching mathematics has shown that teachers of all year levels require general pedagogic knowledge, specific mathematics pedagogic-content knowledge, and mathematics subject-matter knowledge. All three of these knowledge areas are important in this course.


Foundations of Numeracy is a shared course for the specialisations of Early Childhood, Primary / Middle and Special Education and will focus on aspects of teaching, planning and assessing the number and algebra strand of the Australian mathematics curriculum, underpinned by a clear understanding of relevant subject-matter knowledge and current theories of learning and teaching. An approach to teaching that is based on thinking strategies rather than rote procedures will be emphasised. Consequently, methods of doing and teaching mathematics experienced during the course are likely to be different to those experienced in the students' own schooling. Past and present practices will be critically examined in the light of research findings, curriculum documents and teaching practice. The course also helps to ensure that students themselves have an appropriate level of mathematical understanding and proficiency to undertake their professional roles. NOTE: Minimum enrolment numbers apply to this offering. Should enrolments not reach the minimum number required for on-campus study, students may be transferred to the ONLINE offering and advised of this change before semester commences.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate competence in the use of materials, language, symbols, games, structured activities and teaching aids for the development of mathematical concepts, skills and strategies related to number and algebra mathematics strand [Items 1 and 2; Professional Standards 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2]
  2. demonstrate personal competence in mathematical content that is relevant to the teaching of the number and algebra mathematics strand [Item 2; Professional Standard 2.1]
  3. understand and be able to explain by example the conceptual base of mathematical processes and structures that underpin the number and algebra mathematics strand of the Australian curriculum [Items 1 and 2; Professional Standards 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.2]
  4. demonstrate an awareness of the desirability of fostering favourable attitudes towards involvement in mathematics and of the intellectual, behavioural and social actions required by children and their teachers in the construction of mathematical concepts, skills and strategies [Items 1 and 2; Professional Standards 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1]
  5. demonstrate a knowledge of good planning and implementation practices in primary mathematics and an ability to analyse and reflect upon activities and learning sequences [Items 1 and 2; Professional Standards 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6]
  6. be confident, competent and enthusiastic teachers of mathematics who are able to articulate and justify their personal philosophy upon which they will ground their teaching of primary mathematics [Items 1 and 2; Professional Standards 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 2.5]
  7. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing [Item 1].


Description Weighting(%)
1. Current theories of teaching and learning mathematics 20.00
2. Mathematics and numeracy pedagogy 20.00
3. Numeration for whole numbers and fraction ideas 20.00
4. Computation with whole numbers and fractions, both mental and written 20.00
5. Patterns and algebra 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Reys, R, Lindquist, M, Lambdin, D, Smith,N, Rogers, A, Falle, J, Frid, S & Bennett, S 2012, Helping children learn mathematics, 1st Australian edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.
    (e-book version required ? available direct from the Wiley website ? follow these instructions to download the required text -

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Anderson, J et al (consulting) 2007, The ORIGO handbook of mathematics education, ORIGO Education, Brisbane, Queensland.
  • Booker, G, Bond, D, Sparrow, L & Swan, P 2010, Teaching primary mathematics, 4th edn, Pearson, Sydney, New South Wales.
  • Burnett, J & Irons, C 2007, The book of facts [+, -, x, ?], Origo Education, Brisbane, Queensland.
  • De Klerk, J 2007, Illustrated maths dictionary, 4th edn, Longman, Brisbane, Queensland.
  • Jorgensen (Zevenbergen), R & Dole, S 2011, Teaching mathematics in primary schools, 2nd edn, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, New South Wales.
  • Van de Walle, J 2013, Elementary and middle school mathematics: teaching developmentally (with MyEducationLab), 8th edn, Pearson, Sydney, New South Wales.
    (international edn.)
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information //

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 80.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
EXAMINATION 100 50 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Closed Exam.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at //

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and have reliable broadband Internet access for this course.