Keynote - What’s up with secondary school mathematics, and how can we improve it?


We often hear that learning maths teaches reasoning, problem solving logical, and critical thinking skills. Students can develop a host of technical skills but if they lack the capacity to apply these skills to solving problems which are anything other than technical exercises, their knowledge is irrelevant. A critical skill in mathematics is being able to derive a mathematical formulation from a context. Yet we also know that many students leave school not having mastered essential numeracy skills.
What should the role of school mathematics education be in our emerging new world? And as such, what mathematical ideas should students be required to engage with? Why are topics like algorithmic thinking and coding relevant to secondary school mathematics?
Are we pushing kids too far by asking them to do maths until year 10? Are we doing enough to combat maths anxiety in the secondary school maths classroom? What are the factors leading to this anxiety, and are we doing enough to address them?

What if maths was elective from year 9 like other subjects? Couldn’t students get enough numeracy across the curriculum after year 10 that maths was not needed anyway? If maths was not compulsory teachers may need to improve their practice and work harder to recruit and retain students in maths subjects. Teachers could then focus on those who are interested in maths, leading to more students taking higher level mathematics than currently; do you agree?

Come along and explore these topics with our panel of experts from across the maths education sector.

Kylie Slaney
Sarah Buckley
Sebastian Sardina
Peter Goss
Neil Carmona-Vickery

Session Code Session Date Session Start Session Finish Session Location Places Remaining
A-05 05/12/2019 09:00 am 10:00 am La Trobe University Bundoora


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