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MAC8901 Issues in Teaching Mathematics

Semester 2, 2020 Online
Short Description: Issues in Teaching Mathematics
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070199 - Teacher Education not elsewher
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Linda Galligan

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at <>.
Students are required to have access to some "inking" technology tools (see note in reference materials).


Teachers of mathematics need a deep understanding of the content and discourse of mathematics if they are to develop in their students a mathematical power - the ability to explore, conjecture and reason logically and to use a variety of mathematical methods effectively to solve problems. They also need a level of understanding and appreciation of mathematics higher than that expected of students at primary and junior high schools. Consequently, a clearer perspective of the role and importance of mathematics will be gained. This course is designed to meet the needs of teachers of Years 7 -12.


Students will be able to develop and extend their knowledge and understanding of mathematics and school mathematics through a variety of experiences involving problem solving, mathematical communication, reasoning and connecting mathematics, its ideas and its applications in the world around us. By working collaboratively and independently, students will be encouraged to think mathematically, and through many successful experiences, gain confidence in solving mathematical problems. The content of the course will include investigating troublesome knowledge in concepts aligned to the Australian Curriculum: measurement and geometry; number and algebra; statistics and probability and will cater for those teaching up to Year 10 and options for those wanting to teach Years 11 and 12.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills of various mathematical concepts and procedures and the connections among them; [items 3 & 4]
  2. demonstrate advanced reasoning, problem solving, fluency and understanding in the thinking and doing of mathematics;[items 2, 3, & 4]
  3. communicate mathematical ideas effectively at different levels of formality; [items 1-4]
  4. review, analyse, consolidate, synthesise knowledge in one area of mathematics and identify and provide solutions [item 2]
  5. use ICTs as tools to represent mathematical ideas, to construct different representations of mathematical concepts and to solve problems; [item 2]
  6. demonstrate an awareness of the dynamic nature of mathematics and the important role that mathematics plays in culture and society today; [item 4]
  7. be confident and reflective in doing mathematics. [items 1 & 3]


Description Weighting(%)
1. Mathematical Reflections 10.00
2. Technology in Mathematics 10.00
3. Troublesome Knowledge in Mathematics 10.00
4. Review of and issues in 7-12 Number & Algebra content strands 20.00
5. Review of and issues in 7-12 Measurement & Geometry strands 20.00
6. Review of and issues in 7-12 Statistics & Probability strands 20.00
7. Mathematical needs for the 21st century 10.00

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. (

Goos, M., Stillman, G., Vale, C 2016, Makar, K, Herbert, S. & Geiger, V 2016, Teaching Secondary School Mathematics: Research and practice for the 21st century, 2nd edn, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest.

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.
Booker, G., Bond, D., Sparrow, L., & Swan, P 2014, Teaching primary mathematics, 5th edn, Pearson, Sydney.
Hine, G., Reaburn, R, Anderson, J., Galligan, L., Carmichael, C., Cavanagh, M., Ngu, B., & White, B 2016, Teaching Secondary Mathematics, Cambridge University Press.
Van de Walle, J 2018, Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally (with MyEducationLab), 10th edn, Pearson, Sydney.
Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority:
In this course one of the objectives is to "use ICTs as tools to represent mathematical ideas, to construct different representations of mathematical concepts and to solve problems". This will require you to use some "inking" technology tools. If you do not have such inking tools (e.g. a Tablet PC, an IPad or other Android device with a pen, or a graphics tablet), some devices are available for borrowing and posting from the library. In the library page, search for:
• Echo smart pen or smart pen
• Digital note taker or note taker
• Bamboo graphics tablet.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 42.00
Online Lectures 13.00
Online Tutorials 26.00
Private Study 91.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Assignment 1 30 10 27 Jul 2020
Assignment 2 100 35 29 Sep 2020
Assignment 3 60 5 12 Oct 2020
Assignment 4 100 50 26 Oct 2020

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and 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 complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.

  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:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  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 preferred in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. However, students who prefer to use Harvard (AGPS) are allowed to do so. The USQ library provides advice on how to format information sources using this system.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

Date printed 6 November 2020