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Online course materials for MATH30002

Mathematics Education

Unit code: MATH30002
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 3
Teaching period(s): Semester 2
Offered by School of Mathematics
Available as a free choice unit?: N




The programme unit introduces theories of learning in the context of mathematics. Through reflection on their own learning, observation in classrooms and reading mathematics education research and evidence, students will have the opportunity to develop understanding about some of the complexities of learning and teaching mathematics.


This unit provides opportunities for anyone interested in mathematics education to find out more. Suitable for both those considering becoming a teacher, or those who are fascinated in how people learn mathematics and understanding why it is such an emotive subject.

The course will include collaborative group work, reflection on personal experience and classroom observation.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:

  • critically reflect on learning experiences drawing on theory and research;
  • analyse classroom interactions drawing on relevant theory;
  • articulate the difference between procedural and relational understanding and explain why both are important;
  • exemplify and apply the interconnectedness of mathematical ideas to selected topics in school mathematics.

Assessment methods

  • Other - 80%
  • Oral assessment/presentation - 20%

Assessment Further Information

Coursework – project report; weighting within unit 80%, submitted via Turnitin
Presentation; weighting within unit 20%


1. Why is mathematics part of the school curriculum? [1 lecture]
2. How do people learn mathematics? [2 lectures]
3. Big ideas in school mathematics [3 lectures]
4. What happens in mathematics classrooms? [2 lectures]
5. What works in mathematics classrooms? [2 lectures]
6. Action research project – misconceptions in learning mathematics (5 weeks, including 5 half days in a school)
7. Project presentations

Recommended reading

Gates, P. (2001) Issues in Mathematics Teaching, London: Routledge
Leslie, D. & Mendick, H. (eds.) (2014) Debates in Mathematics Education, London: Routledge
Ryan, J. & Williams, J. (2007) Children's Mathematics 4-15: Learning from Errors and Misconceptions, Buckingham: Open University Press
Skemp, R. (1993) The Psychology of Learning Mathematics, London: Penguin
Swan, M. (2005) Collaborative Learning in mathematics: A challenge to our beliefs and practices Leicester: NIACE
Watson, A., Jones, K. & Pratt, D., (2013) Key Ideas in Teaching Mathematics: Research-based guidance for ages 9-19, Buckingham: Oxford University Press

For the Learning of Mathematics
Mathematics Teaching (Association of Teachers of Mathematics)
Mathematics in School (Mathematical Association)
Educational Studies in Mathematics
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Research in Mathematics Education
Association of Teachers of Mathematics www.atm.org.uk
British Society for Research into the Learning of Mathematics www.bsrlm.org.uk
Mathematical Association www.m-a.org.uk
National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics www.ncetm.org.uk/home
NRICH www.nrich.maths.org
Nuffield www.nuffieldfoundation.org
National STEM centre www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/elibrary/maths/

Feedback methods

Feedback tutorials will provide an opportunity for students' work to be discussed and provide feedback on their understanding.  Coursework or in-class tests (where applicable) also provide an opportunity for students to receive feedback.  Students can also get feedback on their understanding directly from the lecturer, for example during the lecturer's office hour.

Study hours

  • Lectures - 10 hours
  • Seminars - 10 hours
  • Supervised time in studio/wksp - 10 hours
  • Independent study hours - 48 hours

Teaching staff

Louise Walker - Unit coordinator

Rosa Archer - Unit coordinator

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