Teaching Secondary Mathematics - Guiding Principles

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

These guidelines help your school to improve student learning outcomes in mathematics.

Enhance knowledge about mathematics learning

The acquisition of knowledge and skills can be through formal professional learning; however informal methods such as observing effective teachers, team teaching, mentoring and discussion also need to be recognised as important professional learning opportunities.

Through professional learning, teachers can be taught the theory, the technicalities and the science of mathematics teaching, but it is the application of these understandings in delivering quality classroom programs which will have an impact on student learning.

School-based professional learning communities can provide immediate and context-relevant responses and support to teachers as they continually acquire knowledge and skill in mathematics teaching.

Build capacity of mathematics teachers

Schools can build their capacity for effective mathematics instruction through engagement with other teachers, other schools and professional bodies. Engaging in professional conversations with others allows sharing of effective ideas and creation of a learning community.

Create mathematics school environments and communities

An effective mathematics environment goes beyond the school. The mathematics plan should be developed in consultation with, and shared with, members of the community. Parents and caregivers should be informed about the expectations of the school and instructional practices so that they can also assist in the development of their child's mathematics skills.

Respond to diverse student needs

Effective mathematics teaching for all students requires early identification of potential student misconceptions and ongoing assessment and monitoring of students' progress. Once identified, programs and interventions can be implemented to support the individual learning needs of students.

Other considerations may include:

  • using coaching as a powerful process for building capacity
  • developing a Mathematics Plan as part of the whole school curriculum planning process
  • identifying some practical ideas for creating effective school mathematics environments
  • ensuring that the learner is at the centre of planning for mathematics learning.

For further information

Information about whole school curriculum planning and modules is available from: