Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Thinking mathematically

About this Illustration of Practice

A teacher of mathematics uses an inquiry approach to learning with her prep students. In introducing the lesson and lesson sequence, she adopts a language-based approach that involves story telling to introduce and reinforce her students' understanding of the concept of 'prediction' and its applicability to mathematics learning. Her students are required through practical tasks to make predications and to test the influence of variables on these. Students' numeracy and literacy skills are developed and reinforced throughout the entire learning activity.

Standard 3
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Focus area 3.3
Use teaching strategies
Career stage
Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.
Other descriptors
Standard 1
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.2
Understand how students learn
Career stage
Structure teaching programs using research and collegial advice about how students learn.
Standard 2
Know the content and how to teach it
Focus area 2.5
Literacy and numeracy strategies
Career stage
Apply knowledge and understanding of effective teaching strategies to support students’ literacy and numeracy achievement.
  1. What teaching strategies do you use to develop students’ problem solving, and critical and creative thinking skills in mathematics?
  2. How do you structure a lesson, which enables students to draw on their own contextual knowledge and experience to develop their mathematical knowledge?
  3. What research about how students learn do you draw upon to structure a teaching program?
Jindalee State School
Year level
Related subject
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
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Jindalee State School is a co-educational P–7, government school of over 850 students. It located in the western suburbs of Brisbane. Teachers of mathematics at the school have developed an inquiry approach to teaching. The teacher of the prep class has been using an inquiry approach for three years. Rather than narrowly developing a teaching and learning program within the Mathematics domain, she draws upon other teaching areas such as English to demonstrate concepts and to reinforce learning and understanding relevant to her students' developmental needs.

Content provider
Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA)

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.