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Unit information: Curriculum Design and Development in School Mathematics in 2015/16

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Unit name Curriculum Design and Development in School Mathematics
Unit code EDUCM5303
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Ms. Brown
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.


  • 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 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

Participants design the curriculum for the unit in the first session. In the unit Teaching and Learning in Mathematics, participants work on the same reading. 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.

The needs of a wide range of students, including those with disabilities, international students and those from ethnic minority backgrounds have been considered. It is not anticipated that the teaching and assessment methods used will cause disadvantage to any person taking the unit. The Graduate School of Education is happy to address individual support requests as necessary.

Assessment Information

A portfolio of:

  • two formative assessment tasks:
    • To write up the literature search for the chosen area.
    • To illustrate how the ideas from the literature search would contribute to a redesigning of part of the mathematics curriculum (presentation).
  • a summative assessment to present these two tasks in one continuous piece of writing of 3,000 words including a theoretical frame from curriculum and learning theory.

Reading and References

  • For the Learning of Mathematics: An International Journal of Mathematics Education.
  • Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.

Educational Studies in Mathematics: An International Journal.

  • Chick, H. and Vincent, J. (Eds.) (2005) Proceedings of the 29th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education. Melbourne: University of Melbourne, and proceedings for previous years’ meetings.