1 x 3-hour workshop weekly
1 of EDUC2321, EDUC2339
Topic description

This topic uses an inquiry approach to examine theory and practice in mathematics in early childhood education. Stated simply, mathematics is the study of quantity, structure, space and change. It includes "numeracy" which can be thought of as the mathematics that we use in everyday living. The topic explores the question of how the powerful mathematical proficiencies exhibited by children in their early years, can be recognised and developed within a child-centered approach to learning. It also explores the mathematical competencies needed by early childhood educators to effectively sustain and enhance these proficiencies.

Modules in this topic include theories and research in children's learning of mathematics, mathematical concepts available to young children, challenging children to think mathematically, catering for individual learning, planning for and assessing mathematical learning and creating a supportive learning environment.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Support students to examine the mathematical practices of children in home and community, prior to and during the early years of schooling
  • Introduce students to a repertoire of resources and approaches designed to enhance mathematic learning opportunities for young children
  • Guide students as they develop an understanding of planning for mathematical learning in early childhood settings
  • Support students in determining methods to effectively assess young children's mathematical development
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Recognise the relationship between mathematics and learning
  2. Use of a variety of approaches that support the development of young children's mathematics
  3. Describe the underlying theories and current research in relation to mathematical teaching and learning
  4. Recognise the mathematical concepts and skills available to young children
  5. Demonstrate skills in planning for mathematical learning in early childhood settings
  6. Practice analytical and observational skills in relation to developing a child's mathematical development

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.