### MAV Response to the Draft Australian Curriculum - Mathematics

I have submitted our response to the draft Australian Curriculum - Mathematics to ACARA for consideration.

I have attached a PDF copy for your information below.

Thank you very much to all those who contributed.

Best Regards

Jeanne Carroll

MAV President

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## Comments, Pingbacks

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Secondly - my main objection to the Draft is the amount of content to be covered, and consequently the speed at which students have to move through the curiculum. I believe that about 60% of students can do higher level maths IF they are given the opportunity in lower years to move slower and understan one bit before being forced to move on. This is the single biggest factor in students not liking and being successful at Maths and choosing it in the Senior Secondary and Tertiary levels. The dratf makes the situation worse - there is still far too much in it, and does not allow for exploration, discovery and proofs.

Thirdly - the draft does contain some stupid mistakes and errors - could someone clean up the MAV submission so that ACARA does not dismiss the MAV submission for containing some mistakes and typos.

Comment by Keith Currie [Visitor] — 04/16/10 @ 12:35

In his pamphlet “On education” John Milton sets out his views about education in England in the 17th century. One of his criticisms is the following. “…we do amiss to spend seven or eight years merely in scraping together so much miserable Latin and Greek as might be learned otherwise easily and delightfully in one year.” (Hughes (1957, p. 631))

A similar comment could be made about the strand on probability and statistics in the draft National Curriculum in Mathematics. Let me elaborate. I will refer to the draft National Curriculum in Mathematics simply as NC.

Data analysis is covered in the curriculum from kindergarten to Year 10. The aim is that students will be able to “recognise and analyse data and draw inferences” (NC, p. 2). Statistical inference is a well developed, formal branch of mathematics. To understand it properly one needs at least some calculus.

NC gives me the impression that statistical inference will not be addressed at all before the end of Year 10. In several places, NC mentions that, in data analysis, students will “make connections”, but a common error is for people to make connections without reference to statistical inference. It would be a mistake to teach students to draw conclusions by simply looking at data.

If formal statistical inference will not be addressed in K-Year 10 (and I would not suggest that it ought to be), then the data analysis section of NC consists of methods of elementary descriptive statistics. These methods could be taught easily and delightfully in a term.

I also object to the calculators that are so prominent in upper secondary schools. First they are very expensive and this only adds to the huge inequities in the school system. Second, the calculators are very clunky to use when compared to something like SPSS or Excel. A statistician would not use these calculators in practice; even students at university tend to use packages for statistical analysis. Spending time (and money) on these calculators to do statistics at school is a waste.

Reference

Hughes, M.Y. (1957) John Milton: Complete Poems and Major Prose. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co.

Comment by Terry Mills [Visitor] — 04/20/10 @ 00:15

Comment by Lisa [Visitor] — 04/26/10 @ 19:43

Comment by Jill Brown [Visitor] — 05/07/10 @ 09:53

Comment by Michelle Stone [Visitor] — 05/08/10 @ 10:58

Comment by Dennis Wright [Visitor] — 05/13/10 @ 13:16

I agree that some students lack facility in mental arithmetic and number sense as a result of their dependence on calculators. However, I am in favour of the many uses to which calculators can be put that actually help in the development of understanding of mathematical concepts. The important issue is to make sure that teachers have access to professional development that enables them to make sound pedagogical choices about their use of calculators and computer technologies.

Comment by jeannecarroll [Member] — 05/13/10 @ 14:43