Audience:

Imagine you are writing for yourself and some ‘critical friends’ (e.g. teacher educator,

mentor teacher, online peers) wanting to assist you with your professional development.

Expected content:

The assignment (when considered as a whole) should contain:

Documentation

• An overview of your teaching context (real or anticipated)

• Written responses to at least four of the numbered activities in Module 1 (included below)

Analysis

• A plausible interpretation of the school-based scenario described in Davis and Renert’s opening chapter (2014, pp. 1–15)

• Suggestions on how you could harness this interpretation to better address applicable curriculum (e.g. segments of the Australian Curriculum) within your teaching context

• Identification of a particular element of numeracy you’d like to investigate further

• Rationale for prioritising this element of numeracy within your teaching context

Consolidation

• An outline of a compelling classroom activity designed to encourage your students

(whether actual or imaginary) to experience in context a key aspect of your prioritised element of numeracy

• A summary of the pedagogy and/or other interactions underpinning the activity

• A visualisation showing how your thinking links to significant themes arising in the Learning Materials, Davis and Renert (2014), and other relevant literature as applicable

Redirection

• A description of a surprising idea or unanswered question that you’d like to pursue in

Assignment 2 (without obligation)

• Several recommendations on how you might progress your learning from here

Activity 1.1

From the National Numeracy Review Report, select three recommendations (from the fifteen in total) you feel might be particularly relevant to you and your intended level of schooling. From the report (and any other relevant resources to hand, such as the 2008 Melbourne Declaration) identify the various factors (contexts, problems, issues, resources, dependencies, etc.) most likely to affect successful implementation of the three recommendations.

Next, create a network or a digraph (or some other kind of data visualisation) showing the interrelationships between the three recommendations and their main influencing factors (as you’ve discerned them).

Activity 1.2

Chapter 1 is entitled ‘Conceptualising numeracy’. As you read this chapter, try to prepare a concise response to each of the following questions:

Why is numeracy a distinct area of interest?

How have definitions of numeracy changed over time? (What have the main changes been, and what has brought these about?)

In what ways is it helpful (or unhelpful) to draw a comparison between numeracy and mathematics?

Thinking about a subject area that you know well, how does (or how could) numeracy become (better) integrated within that subject area?

Discuss your findings with some other students. Try to articulate your collective understanding using some mathematical concepts or techniques (e.g. a timeline, a Venn diagram, an equation, a graph, a map, a flowchart, an algorithm, a proof, … ).

Activity 1.3

Please read Thelma Perso’s paper looking carefully for the definition of numeracy that she’s using. Note this and try to match it up with the range of definitions canvassed in the National Numeracy Review Report (NNRR) and the Westwood chapter. Once you’ve made a match, try to identify any nuances of meaning that Perso is emphasising or downplaying. (Use your mathematical representations from the earlier activities to help you.)

Next, take note of the diagrams and figures that Perso uses in her paper. Try to see how these summarise the key points of her argument. Write a brief statement justifying the appropriateness (or not) of each type of mathematical figure (e.g. Venn diagram, line graph, …).

Now take an alternative, or an expanded, definition of numeracy (such as presented in the NNRR or Westwood or perhaps a definition of mathematical literacy that you’ve located) and make amendments to one or more of Perso’s figures to accommodate the alternative definition and any adjustments that need to be made to her argument. (An obvious candidate here would be to use the full AAMT definition available in the Policy on Numeracy Education in Schools.)

Activity 1.5

Try to summarise the continuity and discontinuity that occurs in numeracy and/or mathematics learning as students transition from one level of schooling to a neighbouring one (either earlier or later). For example, primary educators could look at either the shift from primary to middle years, or early childhood to primary.

To make this a manageable task, you may wish to restrict your analysis to representative year levels and/or particular aspects of numeracy (strands of mathematics).

Prepare your summary in two formats: one for numerate teachers, the other for students in your preferred level of schooling. (Note: effective collaboration is likely to streamline this task. Oh, by the way, how is your learning log helping you make sense of the tasks?)