Teachers and Curriculum



The term numeracy is used widely in schools today and brings with it the expectation that students will be taught both how to do the mathematics, alongside an understanding of the concepts associated with the procedural application. One issue, which has arisen with the terminology ‘numeracy classroom’, is how to best support teachers to enhance their teaching of mathematics to allow this understanding to occur. This article stems from a larger research study that analysed the professional knowledge of teachers when teaching numeracy, and the impact their mathematics knowledge and procedural application had on children’s learning. This article presents observations of three teachers teaching a multiplication lesson (the first in a series of lessons over a six-week period) as they developed their students’ understanding of the mathematical concepts associated with the interpretation of the multiplication symbol. An analysis of the findings shows when the teachers used manipulatives, related word problems to the children’s lives, and promoted discussion in groups, a greater understanding of multiplication was apparent.



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