# MathsClass

A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

## NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum - Content Breakdown

Sunday, 09 June 2013 | 8 Comments

Teachers in NSW, are currently programming for the New NSW K–10 syllabuses for the Australian curriculum which will be implemented from 2014.

Here are a couple of documents/spreadsheets I put together.

NSW Syllabus for AC mapping old outcomes to new

A mapping of the old syllabus outcomes to the new syllabus outcomes. Preview:

New NSW Syllabus for AC with content points

Takes the new outcomes and breaks them down into “content points” (my term). Preview:

Posted in | Short URL: http://mths.co/3157

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Heather McMaster on  10 June 13  at  02:37 AM #
I can see that a lot of valuable work has gone into preparing these two spreadsheets. It's only when you see the syllabuses as a whole that you can detect the differences in their flavour. Of particular interest to me was the greater emphasis (focused in Stage 4) on understanding algebraic techniques by generalising the properties of numbers. I hope this changes students' common belief that algebra is a set of "rules for working with letters".

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Simon Job on  10 June 13  at  03:07 AM #
Thanks for the comment Heather. Where do *you* particularly see the _greater emphasis_?
Heather McMaster on  10 June 13  at  05:08 AM #
Based on a very large body of research (including a recent PhD thesis on the topic at Macquarie University) teaching students the mechanics of algebraic techniques without them understanding how the numbers work, is counter-productive in the long run. Rules without reasons are easily mixed up, soon forgotten, and often incorrectly applied. You might not see it in the topic test, but you'll likely see it in the yearly exams. As a tertiary educator (in Primary Maths Education), I find it quite easy differentiate between those students who have just memorised "the rules" and those who understand them.

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Simon Job on  10 June 13  at  05:12 AM #
Sorry Heather, I wasn't questioning "understanding algebraic techniques by generalising the properties of numbers", but rather where do you see the greater emphasis on this in the new syllabus? Much of what I have seen is cut 'n paste from the old syllabus, just wondering where you saw the difference.
Heather McMaster on  10 June 13  at  05:33 AM #
Sorry Simon. I didn't realise what you meant. I see the greater emphasis in the new syllabus: See MA4-8NA compared with the old PAS4.1 & PAS4.3.

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Simon Job on  10 June 13  at  05:38 AM #
Ok thanks.
Tierney Kennedy on  14 June 13  at  02:48 AM #
I think that the biggest difference is the use of the proficiency strands as the basis for assessment. Big changes for most states there. Particularly as problem solving means "new or unfamiliar Maths" rather than just "new context".
Heather McMaster on  14 June 13  at  05:33 AM #
I had an interesting time in Singapore recently. What would count as "problems" for most of our students are often not unfamiliar to Singapore students. They look for mathematical structures and classify problems accordingly. Their classification systems are amazing eg. they might know 9 different types of ratio problems. They then use the procedure they've learnt for that particular type of problem in order to solve it.

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
MathsClass is about teaching and learning in a maths classroom. more→

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