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Mathematics

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Overview

Cross-curriculum priorities

The Australian Curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students by delivering a relevant, contemporary and engaging curriculum that builds on the educational goals of the Melbourne Declaration. The Melbourne Declaration identified three key areas that need to be addressed for the benefit of both individuals and Australia as a whole. In the Australian Curriculum these have become priorities that provide students with the tools and language to engage with and better understand their world at a range of levels. The priorities provide dimensions which will enrich the curriculum through development of considered and focused content that fits naturally within learning areas. They enable the delivery of learning area content at the same time as developing knowledge, understanding and skills relating to:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • sustainability.

Cross-curriculum priorities are addressed through learning areas and are identified wherever they are developed or applied in content descriptions. They are also identified where they offer opportunities to add depth and richness to student learning in content elaborations. They will have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to the learning area.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture

Across the Australian Curriculum, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures priority provides opportunities for all learners to deepen their knowledge of Australia by engaging with the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. Students will understand that contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities are strong, resilient, rich and diverse. The knowledge and understanding gained through this priority will enhance the ability of all young people to participate positively in the ongoing development of Australia.

The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. It provides opportunities for students to appreciate that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies have sophisticated applications of mathematical concepts.

Students will explore connections between representations of number and pattern and how they relate to aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. They will investigate time, place, relationships and measurement concepts in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contexts. Students will deepen their understanding of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples through the application and evaluation of statistical data.

Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia

Across the Australian curriculum, this priority will ensure that students learn about and recognise the diversity within and between the countries of the Asia region. They will develop knowledge and understanding of Asian societies, cultures, beliefs and environments, and the connections between the peoples of Asia, Australia, and the rest of the world. Asia literacy provides students with the skills to communicate and engage with the peoples of Asia so they can effectively live, work and learn in the region.

In the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, the priority of Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia provides rich and engaging contexts for developing students’ mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding.

The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics provides opportunities for students to learn about the understandings and applications of Mathematics in Asia. Mathematicians from Asia continue to contribute to the ongoing development of Mathematics.

In this learning area, students develop mathematical understanding in fields such as number, patterns, measurement, symmetry and statistics by drawing on knowledge of and examples from the Asia region. These could include calculation, money, art, architecture, design and travel.  Investigations involving data collection, representation and analysis can be used to examine issues pertinent to the Asia region.

Sustainability

Across the Australian Curriculum, sustainability will allow all young Australians to develop the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for them to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living. It will enable individuals and communities to reflect on ways of interpreting and engaging with the world. The Sustainability priority is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world through informed action. Actions that support more sustainable patterns of living require consideration of environmental, social, cultural and economic systems and their interdependence.

In the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, the priority of sustainability provides rich, engaging and authentic contexts for developing students’ abilities in number and algebra, measurement and geometry, and statistics and probability.

The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics provides opportunities for students to develop the proficiencies of problem solving and reasoning essential for the exploration of sustainability issues and their solutions. Mathematical understandings and skills are necessary to measure, monitor and quantify change in social, economic and ecological systems over time. Statistical analysis enables prediction of probable futures based on findings and helps inform decision making and actions that will lead to preferred futures.

In this learning area, students can observe, record and organise data collected from primary sources over time and analyse data relating to issues of sustainability from secondary sources. They can apply spatial reasoning, measurement, estimation, calculation and comparison to gauge local ecosystem health and can cost proposed actions for sustainability.

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