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Unit information: Curriculum Design and Development in School Mathematics in 2021/22

Unit name Curriculum Design and Development in School Mathematics
Unit code EDUCM5303
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Tracy Helliwell
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit involves participants considering: International perspectives in relation to evolving international mathematics curriculum development and the influence of culture; The design and delivery of mathematics curriculum including cross-curricular issues; The evaluation of curriculum change - intentions, methodology, outcomes.

This unit is designed to support you in developing yourselves as a critical and reflective thinker, through discussing and presenting key ideas from literature. We will look at research linked to an area of interest that you identify for yourself, across a range of theoretical frames and perspectives to extend your thinking in relation to curriculum design, innovation and development in school mathematics including what and how we teach. You will learn to apply ideas from research within mathematics education and curriculum theory in order to design, innovate and develop part of a mathematics curriculum for yourself.

The unit will ultimately support your dissertation writing by supporting you to develop a literature review on an area you are interested in within mathematics education. This is a key skill when you come to writing your dissertation later on in the academic year


  • To review the development of the mathematics curriculum in the UK and elsewhere.
  • To explore the implications for current and future mathematics education in schools.
  • To consider strategies for designing and innovating mathematics curricula.

Intended Learning Outcomes

After taking this unit, the student should demonstrate that they:

  • have knowledge of a range of important issues within the field of curriculum design and development in school mathematics
  • have completed a literature search
  • have learnt to apply these skills practically by designing a part of a mathematics curriculum.

Teaching Information

This unit will be taught using a blended approach consisting of a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous activities including seminars, lectures, reading and discussions. Participants design the curriculum for the unit in the first session. There is a common reading in curriculum theory each week but also, for the mathematics education focus, each participant is given a reading linking the focus for the week with their identified issue for which they complete a literature search. The sessions are a mixture of input in relation to curriculum theory and discussion of the readings where participants both present the arguments of their writer and aim to take a critical stance to the ideas presented by others in the group. Here the learning theory is distributed cognition. Each participant gives a presentation of either the literature review or the design process to develop their ideas through critical discussion with their peers. Tutorial time is given for discussion before the presentation and for a draft of the summative task for the assignment.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment

* To write up the literature search for the chosen area. ILO 2
  • To illustrate how the ideas from the literature search would contribute to a redesigning of part of the mathematics curriculum (presentation). ILO 3

Summative assessment

* To present these two tasks (a literature review and the design of part of a curriculum) in one continuous piece of writing (equivalent to 4,000 words) including a theoretical frame from curriculum and learning theory. ILO 1-3


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EDUCM5303).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.