The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


4000 level

Course handbook


This course explores the emerging importance of the contexts of mathematical applications as numeracy competencies in various cultural and social contexts. It investigates the numeracy competencies of the diverse student cohorts that are currently populating Australian primary classrooms. It examines what numeracy means for students with backgrounds of exclusive oral tradition, the impact and practical benefits of engaging with ethnomathematics in classroom contexts and the cultural and social implications for students from non- dominant backgrounds in the context of western dominated teaching and learning in mathematics in Australian classrooms. It presents skills and strategies for effective inclusion and differentiation in content, pedagogy and context to accommodate diverse leaners as a matter of social equity and empowerment.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Trimester 3 - 2017.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. reflect on the numeracy practices of students with diverse backgrounds and their numeracy experiences

2. understand the potential of ethnomathematics to contribute to effective teaching and learning in the Australian context and their relationship overall

3. demonstrate strategies for including diverse students in the teaching and learning tasks in mathematics and numeracy

4. design tasks that include students own numeracy practices

5. understand the social, political and personal importance of sound critical numeracy practices


  • What is meant by ethnomathematics and why is it important
  • The potential for ethnomathematics to inform regular mathematical teaching and learning
  • The impact of sociocultural status and backgrounds on the potential of students to make meaning in mathematical lessons and numeracy opportunities
  • The importance of mathematical dialogue, language and interactions for numeracy practices
  • What is powerful knowledge (Young) , critical numeracy and how can these be reconciled with ethnomathematical perspectives
  • What is Bourdieu's notion of capital
  • Planning for inclusion, making meaning and student empowerment though mathematics and numeracy


For students who commenced in the program in 2016 onwards, enrolment in this course is dependent on successful completion of the teacher education admission milestone:

- Three HSC band 5s (including one in English) or

- 80 units of UON courses or

- Regulatory authority approved comparable pathways.

Enrolment in this course is dependent on meeting the teacher education admission milestone of successful completion of

- Three HSC band 5s (including one in English) or

- 80 units of UoN courses or

- Regulatory authority approved comparable pathways or

- Commencement in the program pre 2016

Assumed knowledge


Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written task

Written Assignment: Written Task