This resource provides detailed information about the four proficiencies of the Victorian Curriculum: Mathematics and offers teachers guidance as to how to incorporate these in their teaching so as to enhance the learning outcomes for all students in mathematics and numeracy.
Developing a capacity to reason, make sense of challenging problems, show deep conceptual understanding and mathematical fluency are key attributes assessed by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) TIMSS and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) deem these to be essential to the diverse array of maths-related situations that learners will encounter throughout their lives. They represent a mathematics passport to future employment, equipping Victorian learners to be critical and creative thinkers and productive citizens.
As a consequence, the resources offered here tap into the efforts of educational researchers and practitioners from Australia and around the world.
An experienced team has searched through, weighed up and assessed the tangle of resources available on the web and selected those that are accessible, research-informed, reliable and well-suited to Victorian teachers.
These resources, which include a mix of shorter and longer papers, videos and illustrations of practice, have been organised according to different levels of need and readiness, with consideration of the time required to connect with and make sense of them. A number of reflective tools have been included to support sense-making and team dialogue.
Each linked resource includes a brief summary to help support selection.
Embracing the proficiencies means teaching young people to think and reason as they learn mathematics, stretching and challenging them to pose and solve meaningful problems, prioritising sense-making, patience and understanding over memorising, being quick or simply getting ‘right answers.’ Mathematics becomes more meaningful when the proficiencies become a focus of teaching and learning.
Start a conversation in Professional Learning Teams or other professional learning structures within your school context about the proficiencies of the mathematics curriculum by using this stimulus resource.
After supporting your team to read through this stimulus, ask the following questions about what they noticed, reacted to or wondered:
The four proficiencies stimulus document:
You may wish to use one of these discussion protocols.
Opening up a conversation about the proficiencies and the current state of these in your school will support you, as a leader to develop a clearer picture of underlying belief systems of your teachers and how these impact on the readiness levels for them to take on changes to their practice.
Viviane Robinson's book "Reduce Change to Increase Improvement" (Corwin Press, 2018) provides some great advice around working with belief systems and Theories of Action.
To what extent are the proficiencies evident in the mathematics teaching and learning program in your school?
Analyse curriculum documentation for evidence of the proficiencies in the teaching and learning program and key tasks using the 'Reviewing and considering maths LEARNING, resources and apps' protocol.
Collect information from your students as to how they experience mathematics teaching and learning in your school.
With colleagues, reflect on the extent to which these proficiencies are emphasised in practice. Classroom observations of practice and Professional Learning Team reflections are a great way to do this.
Analyse the data collected in the evaluate and diagnose stage to identify:
Where do your priorities for improvement in the enactment of the proficiencies need to be in order to most advance student learning?
Which proficiencies will you focus on in which classrooms?
Which of the proficiencies will you choose to focus on explicitly to begin with? Which areas of your current curriculum pose the best places to potentially start?
What is the impact you are wanting to see in student learning outcomes?
What changes will you implement? What new activities will you trial?
Who will you engage to work with you? What sources of support, expertise and leadership can you draw on?
Monitor your progress through ongoing collection of data and observations.
Discuss what is happening in classrooms in your PLT groups to identify whether improvement is occuring or if you need to revisit the goals and priorities you set to really improve student learning.
Reflect on your progress and identify next steps using the data that you have collected and the observations that you made in earlier phases.
Re-evaluate to see if there are observable shifts in student or teacher behaviours and learning outcomes, as a result.
To support your investigation of the resources contained in this toolkit, this package of protocols and supports has been developed for you to draw on throughout each of these stages.
This short paper outlines the various verbs that can be used for each of the four proficiencies.
A very useful resource for planning questioning and lessons to highlight and develop the proficiencies in the teaching and learning of mathematics.