Highlight, discuss and reflect on the current challenges in mathematics education in Australia.
As a pre service teacher, parent, current student and past student I am familiar with the current challenges in mathematics education in Australia. In fact, I agree with Dr Chris Matthews Chairperson of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA) “We tend to perceive mathematics as being something that is only done by really start people, the elite people, but this is not true.”
For this I believe that the challenges faced in mathematics education in Australia is heavily connected to this common myth.
To bust this myth, we need to understand that mathematics is everywhere. Mathematics is part of us all. No matter where we turn mathematics can be expressed in so many ways. My earliest memory of learning maths is sitting on my Mum’s lap, singing, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I caught a fish alive”. Then onto playing Uno, keeping score, playing wall ball and then I met Mr Whittle, my year 5 teacher. I do not recall it being called mathematics, however the “Class Shop” was a popular addition. We created our (sustainable) currency, using bottle tops. We had a roster for the shopkeeper shifts and all currency could be earned through good behaviour, showing leadership and completed tasks throughout the week.
For this reason- in my future teaching practice, I aim to become a teacher that believes, “Mathematics can be appreciated as a creative experience, in which flexibility and imaginative thinking can lead to interesting outcomes or fresh avenues to explore for the curious mind.” Haylock, D. p7 (2014)