For Immediate Release
8 July 2021
AMSI Responds to the ACARA Australian Curriculum Review Consultation
The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) has today released its response to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) Australian Curriculum Review Consultation.
Following extensive consultation with representatives of its member organisations, AMSI believes the new curriculum should be delayed and is asking ACARA to halt the current review process.
In early April, AMSI, together with some of its key partners, released a joint statement – “Why maths must change” – on the proposed maths curriculum, which endorsed the revised draft curriculum. AMSI remains supportive of a review of the Australian F-10 mathematics curriculum, as part of a comprehensive strategy to address some of the challenges facing school mathematics and its teaching. However, now with the opportunity to provide comments on the draft curriculum, many of AMSI’s members have expressed concern at numerous proposed curriculum changes.
These concerning curriculum changes include:
- The delay in the introduction of, and the removal of, key mathematics content.
- While some AMSI members welcomed a stronger emphasis on problem solving and inquiry, there was considerable concern that this emphasis comes at the expense of mastery and fluency. Mastery of mathematical approaches is needed before student problem solving can be effective.
- New content added, over the years 7-10, without a strong justification that this material is more relevant than material being removed or reduced
- Ambiguity of the core concept organiser, ‘mathematising’ for teachers. Mathematising is a concept with which teachers have no experience.
“AMSI’s membership is comprised of mathematics departments from all of Australia’s leading universities, government agencies and professional societies. Our collaborative member consultation has highlighted aspects of the draft curriculum that must be addressed,” said AMSI Director, Professor Tim Marchant.
“It is critical we get this new curriculum right to improve Australia’s declining mathematical literacy. AMSI would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with ACARA on the review and design of the new curriculum,” Professor Marchant continued.
The challenges facing school mathematics and its teaching include the declining performance of Australian students in international benchmarking tests, such as PISA and TIMSS, supply shortage of qualified secondary mathematics teachers, declining numbers of students taking advanced mathematics subjects at year 11/12, the low number of girls undertaking advanced mathematics subjects, and the gaps in outcomes between students in metropolitan areas, compared to students in regional, rural and remote Australia.
Read AMSI’s full submission here: https://amsi.org.au/?p=10975
The Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) is the collaborative enterprise of Australia’s mathematical sciences. Established as an independent platform and advocate for the discipline, the Institute has built a record of national and international achievement as the recognised leader in delivery of services, activities and strategic initiatives across the mathematical pipeline.
Working with key discipline, government and industry partners, AMSI delivers its mission through through the delivery of activities and engagement under its Schools, Research & Higher Education and APR.Intern programs.
AMSI Director, Professor Tim Marchant
Jo Piltz; AMSI Media
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