Home' Teacher : October 2010 Contents CURRICULUM & ASSESSMENT 25
gies should be embedded in the curriculum
'so that they are not seen as optional tools.'
Digital technologies were seen as offering
new ways to learn and teach mathematics
that helped deepen students' mathematical
understanding. It was also acknowledged
that students should learn to choose intel-
ligently between technology, mental, and
pencil and paper methods.
The draft consultation version 1.0 of
the Kindergarten to Year 10 mathematics
curriculum expected 'that mathematics
classrooms will make use of all available
(information and communication technol-
ogy) ICT in teaching and learning situa-
tions.' The intention is that the use of ICT
is to be referred to in content descriptions
and achievement standards, yet this is done
superficially and inconsistently through-
out this draft, with technology often being
treated as an add-on that replicates by-hand
methods. This is seen, for example, in the
following content description from the Year
8 number and algebra strand: 'Plot graphs
of linear functions and use these to find
solutions of equations including use of ICT.'
The emphasis is mine.
In the corresponding consultation ver-
sions of the four senior secondary math-
ematics courses, the aims for all cou rses
refer to students choosing and using a range
of technologies. Nevertheless, each course
contains a com mon technology statement
-- 'Technology can aid in developing skills
and allay the tediu m of repeated calcula-
tions' -- that betrays a limited view of its
role. Throughout the curriculum docu-
ments, the role of technology is presented
largely as one of a servant, despite the fact
that it can do much more.
Technology messages in the draft curric-
ulum are not doing justice to what research
tells us is possible and not doing justice to
the innovative practice that I know is hap-
pening in a lot of classrooms around Aus-
tralia. I also know that, as important as it is
to have a high-quality curriculum to guide
teachers, it's almost inevitable that there are
gaps between an intended cu rriculum and
the curriculum enacted by teachers and stu-
dents in the classroom. Ultimately, it is what
teachers do in classrooms that matters most.
Many teachers are already using technol-
ogy effectively to enhance students' under-
standing and enjoyment of mathematics.
In their hands lie the tasks of enacting a
truly futures-oriented curriculum that will
prepare students for intelligent, adaptive
and critical citizenship in a technology-rich
Professor Merrilyn Goos is Director
of the Teaching and Educ ation al
Development Institute at the University
of Queensland and President of the
Mathem atics Education Research Group
of Australasia .
She spoke at the Au stralian Council for
Educational Research annual conference,
'Teaching Mathematics? Make it count,'
in Melbourne in August.
He r confe re nce paper and prese ntation
slides as well as further information
and all other conference presentation s
are available from ww w. acer.edu. au/
For references, visit http://research.acer.edu.
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