Mathematics is the study of order, relation and pattern. From its origins in counting and measuring it has evolved in highly sophisticated and elegant ways to become the language now used to describe many aspects of the world in the twenty-first century. Statistics is concerned with collecting, analysing, modelling and interpreting data in order to investigate and understand real world phenomena and solve practical problems in context. Together, mathematics and statistics provide a framework for thinking and a means of communication that is powerful, logical, concise and precise.
General Mathematics is designed for those students who want to extend their mathematical skills beyond Year 10 level but whose future studies or employment pathways do not require knowledge of calculus. The subject is designed for students who have a wide range of educational and employment aspirations, including continuing their studies at university or TAFE.
The proficiency strands of the F-10 curriculum – Understanding, Fluency, Problem solving and Reasoning – are still relevant and are inherent in all aspects of this subject. Each of these proficiencies is essential, and all are mutually reinforcing. Fluency, for example, might include learning to perform routine calculations efficiently and accurately, or being able to recognise quickly from a problem description the appropriate mathematical process or model to apply. Understanding, furthermore, that a single mathematical process can be used in seemingly different situations, helps students to see the connections between different areas of study and encourages the transfer of learning. This is an important part of learning the art of mathematical problem solving. In performing such analyses, reasoning is required at each decision-making step and in drawing appropriate conclusions. Presenting the analysis in a logical and clear manner to explain the reasoning used is also an integral part of the learning process.
Throughout the subject there is also an emphasis on the use and application of digital technologies.
General Mathematics aims to develop students’:
- understanding of concepts and techniques drawn from the topic areas of number and algebra, geometry and trigonometry, graphs and networks, and statistics
- ability to solve applied problems using concepts and techniques drawn from the topic areas of number and algebra, geometry and trigonometry, graphs and networks, and statistics
- reasoning and interpretive skills in mathematical and statistical contexts
- capacity to communicate the results of a mathematical or statistical problem-solving activity in a concise and systematic manner using appropriate mathematical and statistical language
- capacity to choose and use technology appropriately and efficiently.