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Children as Mathematical Learners

  • Qualification:

    Undergraduate unit

  • Study mode:


  • Payment options:

    HECS-HELP may be available
    FEE-HELP may be available

  • Duration:

    13 weeks

  • Start date:

    Enquire now for upcoming start dates

  • Awarded by:

    Curtin University

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Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

Course Unit
A course unit is a single subject offered as part of a program of study, but can be completed individually. You may receive Recognition of Prior Learning for studying this unit.

What you'll learn

About this unit

The online unit, Children as Mathematical Learners, is provided by Open Universities Australia and Curtin University and critically examines the mathematics curriculum in Australia in comparison to other countries' proficiency strands.

Students will gain knowledge of the number and algebra strand, and explore how children best learn these particular areas. Other topics include early number knowledge, number sense and counting to place value. Students of this unit will also gain insight into numeration, number patterns and relationships, decimals and percentages, operations, algebraic thinking and fractions.

Children as Mathematical Learners will also enable students to explore different ways that youngsters strategically use mental, written or electronic calculations to answer questions. The unit puts the concept of sense making at the forefront of its agenda when teaching mathematics to children.


Applicants must meet the criteria to be eligible to enter this program:

  • Must have successfully completed The Numerate Educator unit; AND
  • Must have been accepted into the Bachelor of Education (Primary) course

Course pathways

This unit is a core requirement in the following course:

Content may also be relevant to other courses, and could qualify you for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for a course offered by another institution.

Areas of study

In this unit you will learn:

  • How children best learn mathematics through a constructivist teaching approach. The idea of 'sense making' as central to the teaching of mathematics
  • Early number experiences as key underpinning factors for later learning about number counting principles
  • Place value - development of important elements of this key idea. Use of a range of materials to develop place value understanding
  • Base ten numeration - the use of materials and patterns to develop an understanding of number beyond the thousands
  • Multiplicative reasoning as the main idea upon which children's future learning is founded. Relative magnitude of numbers
  • Understanding fraction concepts through the use of a variety of models and materials. Emphasis is on the conceptual understanding of fractions
  • Understanding decimals. Linking multiplicative thinking and fraction concepts to extend the base ten system to numbers less than one whole
  • Percentage and proportional reasoning. Linking fraction, decimal and percentage understanding. Developing the idea of multiplicative partitioning
  • Mental computation strategies and basic number facts. Situating children to become effective in making computational choices
  • Understanding operations. Links between operations and developing own methods for calculating
  • Computational choices. Developing written methods through a conceptual approach. Using calculators efficiently as a learning tools
  • Pre-algebraic thinking. Exploring the concepts of variation/function, pattern/generality, & equivalence/equation
For two decades, Open Universities Australia (OUA) has partnered with leading Australian educators to make tertiary-level courses easier to access for people, no matter their background, their work status or their other life commitments. OUA has built up their reputation by making education more flexible, easier to tailor and available almost entirely online.

OUA's devotion to online education remains to this day, but where they once focused on higher education, today they offer the broadest set of post-secondary education and training programs in Australia.
Open Universities Australia offers a range of administrative and student support options. As a student of OUA you will have access to four hours of free expert tutoring support for each unit undertaken through the tutoring service SMARTHINKING. This on-demand service allows you to get fast, detailed feedback on your assignment drafts and gives you access to your tutor in real time.

The My OUA portal is an online student medium that allows you access to all your course and enrolment information as well as access to student forums and assessment tips.

Career outcomes

Following successful completion of the Children as Mathematical Learners undergraduate unit, students will gain a deep understanding of the number and algebra strand of the Australian mathematics curriculum.

Students will be equipped with the knowledge to use appropriate teaching strategies to help children learn these aspects of the national curriculum. Students who complete this unit will also be able to obtain a clear understanding of a child's knowledge of mathematics, while developing and applying assessment strategies to gain this knowledge. The unit enables students to appraise different approaches used to plan for learning mathematics and the development of numeracy skills. With the knowledge gained from this unit, students will be able to teach children the techniques to learn mathematics, but should also be able to offer strategies to ensure they are ready to sit examinations.

Since this unit is suitable for those who are already enrolled on the Bachelor of Education (Primary) course it makes for ideal grounding for anyone who is hoping to qualify as a primary school teacher. In particular, students will be equipped to teach mathematical skills and techniques to children of all primary ages and abilities. With further training, students who successfully qualify may then go on to teach mathematics to children at a higher level and age.

Payment options & support

Finance options

If you are an Australian citizen, you may be eligible to receive a government HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan, meaning you can defer payment of your fees.

You may be eligible to receive HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP government loan schemes. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, this means you don’t need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees on your behalf. You’ll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $54,869 (2016-17 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.

Get more information

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FREE CALL 1800 063 523

Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

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