Teaching Secondary Mathematics - Module 7: Learning Through Investigation - Focus on Chance and Variability

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Module 7 is specifically about teaching mathematics through investigations within the context of ‘Chance and Variability’.  The main mathematical objective is for students to develop a conceptual understanding of short-run variation and long-run stability. This module focuses on chance and variability to illustrate key points about teaching mathematics through investigations.  The module also introduces several of the resources accessible from the Mathematics Domain.

Key messages

  • Chance and variability provides a strong example of how students’ understanding of abstract mathematical concepts is built on their prior experiences, knowledge and skills in everyday life
  • The use of ICT considerably expands the possibility of gathering data to clarify concepts. It is important to begin with experience with concrete objects (e.g. dice) and only later move on to computer based experiences, linking the two experiences carefully
  • Teachers need specific pedagogical skills to use ICT well for teaching mathematics

The module contains examples from:

  • Links to Department resources
  • Variability intuitive ideas and experience
  • Digilearn – Spinners
  • Continuum – Short-run variation and long-run stability: 5.0
  • Teaching Strategies
    • using ICT
    • investigations
  • Links to Principles of Learning and Teaching P–10

Download Module 7 Workshop booklet and Presentation

To use Module 7, first save the booklet and PowerPoint presentation to your computer

Links to Principles of Learning and Teaching P–12

  • Principle 2: The learning environment promotes independence, interdependence and self motivation. The teacher encourages and supports students to take responsibility for their learning and uses strategies that build skills of productive collaboration.
  • Principle 3: Students' needs, backgrounds, perspectives and interests are reflected in the learning program. The teacher capitalises on students' experience of a technology-rich world.

Additional resources needed for this module

Indicators of Progress

Developmental Overviews

Spreadsheet simulations