The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) is in the late stages of developing the Senior Secondary National Curriculum for Years 11 and 12  Mathematics. A draft of the curriculum will be made available for public consultation from late April to early July this year. The Senior Mathematics subjects will be Essential Mathematics, General Mathematics, Mathematical Methods and Specialist Mathematics. The development of this National Curriculum is an enormous effort and it carries with it a great responsibility. It has to be responsive to the needs of students extending from within the society at large to post secondary education employers to the tertiary education sector and post tertiary employers. It also has to be forward thinking, not just meeting those needs today but meeting future needs for a generation or more. Are there trends that can be detected and should be responded to in meeting those needs? From my personal perspective spanning just thirty years in research there has been a trend. The discipline of statistics has grown and become more prominent. By the time you read this issue you should be able to view the draft of the new curriculum during the consultation phase. You will see a lot more statistics in the proposed new mathematics curriculum. Is the balance right and if it is will the Australian Government be able to allocate sufficient resources across the secondary sector to train a generation of teachers to teach it? We should all do what we can to contribute during this consultation process.
Bruce Henry