Numeracy Across the Curriculum: Recognising and Responding to the Demands and Numeracy Opportunities Inherent in Secondary Teaching

Susie Groves


The 1998 Report of the National Standards and Guidelines for Initial Teacher
Education Project, Preparing a Profession (Australian Council of Deans of Education,
1998), illustrates the emphasis being placed in Australia on the development of
numeracy skills amongst not only primary but also secondary school pupils. This
report demands that graduates of all initial teacher training courses should not
only be numerate themselves, but should also understand the contribution of
numeracy to education and daily life, and be able to identify and respond to
pupils’ numeracy learning needs. This report and its implementation in the state of
Victoria through the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Teacher Education Courses
(Standards Council of the Teaching Profession, 1998), led to the introduction in
1999 of a compulsory unit Numeracy Across the Curriculum for all Deakin University
students in the final year of their secondary teacher training course. This paper
discusses the nature of the current emphasis on numeracy. It also describes the
rationale, development and delivery of the first year of the Numeracy Across the
Curriculum unit, provides a brief evaluation from the perspective of staff and
students, and discusses what impact such teacher education programs might have
on secondary schools’ approaches to numeracy.


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