Many mathematics teachers have not been trained in the mathematics that underlies the content they are teaching – they are teaching out-of-field. Mathematics content and pedagogy projects are designed to remedy this situation by focusing training on mathematics and ensuring that the participants understand this mathematics as a structure of ideas that are related, connected and sequenced.
Teachers who do not understand the mathematics content they are teaching have difficulty in using content to assist pedagogy. It is difficult for them to see what they are teaching as connected into big ideas. As a result, teaching may not efficiently enable recall, investigation and problem solving, and may not support STEM education effectively.
The past project in this category, Junior Secondary Mathematics Program (JSMP), trained Years 7 to 9 teachers in the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics content they were required to teach. As with other YDC projects, the training in mathematics was integrated with good pedagogy for context and motivation. Participants were provided with online resources which they could work through in their own time, and were able to interact with each other and the project coordinator. YDC plans to develop this project into a high-quality online teaching program with opportunities for gaining university accreditation.