Formulas for changing VCE Mathematics Curriculum

Author: Brian Lannen

I have been teaching senior mathematics since 1985 and also working on a range of curriculum consultancy projects since 1995.

My teaching has been mostly in Victoria and New South Wales in both government and independent school systems and my consultancy work in Australia, USA and south east Asia. I like stepping across the boundaries and am generally keen to embrace diversity and innovation. 

Across my time in this profession I have seen numerous educational initiatives and trends come and go. Some have been good, some not so good, but always interesting.

Recently my inbox pinged with the arrival of a memorandum from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) inviting maths teachers and interested parties to comment on a suite of proposed structural changes for the new VCE senior mathematics Study Design. This took me a bit by surprise. Didn’t we just have changes only a few years ago? I phoned a few of my colleagues. Most had missed the memo. Generally they were comfortable in having just managed to implement the more recent changes and their focus right now is more on enjoying the Easter holidays than to contemplate further curriculum upheaval. But the Stage 1 survey response is due by midday 10th May. What rolls on from there may well inform the direction of VCE mathematics for the next decade. This matters! This is why I am blogging. I can’t afford full page ads in the paper. Who reads the paper these days anyway? But we need to be informed and we need to make comment. Here is my summation of the proposed structures on offer:

Structure A (both models) is reasonably familiar, as it is along similar lines to what we have already been teaching. Structure B (as far as it has been defined) looks like something that could be partly built from current curriculum plus options (all really yet to be defined) and Structure C is a significantly restructured commercially driven Wolfram-directed computer-based model.

I’d be interested in hearing your comments, more importantly so would the VCAA. Here is the link to their survey: Click here to take the survey.

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