**Watch now:** To find out more about this curriculum area, watch ‘Understanding the Victorian Curriculum F–10 Version 2.0, Mathematics’ on the Resources page.

### Rationale and Aims

#### Rationale

The study of mathematics is central to the learning, development and prospects of all young Victorians. Mathematics provides students with essential mathematical knowledge, skills, procedures and processes in number, measurement, space, statistics and probability. Equally important are the essential roles that algebra, functions and relations, logic, mathematical structure and working mathematically play in people’s understanding of the natural and human worlds, and the interaction between them. The Mathematics curriculum provides the foundation for all students to develop the numeracy capabilities that they need in their personal, work and civic lives, as well as the fundamentals on which mathematical specialties and professional applications of mathematics are built.

Mathematics has its own value and aesthetic, and the Mathematics curriculum aims to build students’ appreciation of the power of mathematical reasoning as they develop mastery of the content in mathematics. It provides students with learning opportunities to develop mathematical proficiency, including a sound understanding of and fluency with the concepts, skills, procedures and processes needed to interpret contexts, choose ways to approach situations using mathematics, and reason and solve problems arising from these situations.

Mathematics is composed of multiple but interrelated and interdependent concepts and structures that students apply beyond the mathematics classroom, and the curriculum clarifies the links between the various aspects of mathematics as well as the relationship between mathematics and other disciplines. For example, in Science, understanding sources of error and their impact on the confidence of conclusions is vital; in Geography, interpretation of data underpins the study of human populations and their physical environments; in History, students need to be able to imagine timelines and time frames to reconcile related events; and in English, deriving quantitative, logical and spatial information is an important aspect of making meaning of texts.

Mathematical ideas have evolved across cultures over thousands of years and are continually developing. The modern world is influenced by ever-expanding computational power, digital systems, automation, artificial intelligence, economics and data-driven societies. This leads to the need for a capable science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. Mathematics is integral to quantifying, thinking critically and making sense of the world. It is central to building students’ pattern recognition, visualisation, spatial reasoning and logical thinking. Interdisciplinary STEM learning can enhance students’ scientific and mathematical literacy, design and computational thinking, problem-solving and collaboration skills. Developing these competencies supports students in pursuing a variety of careers and occupations within STEM and other fields.

Mathematics provides opportunities for students to apply their mathematical knowledge creatively and efficiently, sharpen their sense of discovery and develop an appreciation of structure. It enables teachers to help students to become self-motivated, confident learners through practice, inquiry and active participation in relevant and challenging experiences.

#### Aims

Mathematics aims to ensure that students:

- develop useful mathematical and numeracy skills for everyday life and work, as active and critical citizens in a technological world
- become confident, proficient, effective and adaptive users of mathematics
- become effective communicators of mathematics who can investigate, represent and interpret situations in their personal and work lives, think critically, and make choices as active, engaged, numerate citizens
- develop proficiency with mathematical concepts, skills, procedures and processes, and use them to demonstrate mastery in mathematics as they pose and solve problems, and reason with number, algebra, measurement, space, statistics and probability
- make connections between areas of mathematics and apply mathematics to model situations in various fields and disciplines
- develop a positive disposition towards mathematics, recognising it as an accessible and useful discipline to study
- appreciate mathematics as a discipline – its history, ideas, problems and applications, aesthetics and philosophy.