Teaching Mathematics for Understanding in Primary Schools: Could Teaching for Mathematising be a Solution?

  • Mun Yee Lai University of Technology, Sydney
  • Virginia Kinnear Flinders University
  • Chun Ip Fung The Education University of Hong Kong


This is a position paper in which we argue for Teaching for Mathematising as a pedagogy that supports teaching mathematics for understanding in primary school. Mathematics education in Australia currently emphasises teaching for mathematical understanding, a shift that redirects children’s learning from merely memorising computation procedures to helping children construct knowledge of the mathematics that informs mathematical concept and processes. The shift to teaching for understanding however is not reflected in students’ item responses in international and national achievement studies. This paper provides one example that illustrates a learning trajectory for supporting mathematical understanding of both conceptual and procedural knowledge through teaching that builds on the framework of Teaching for Mathematising. A corresponding field-test will then be used to illustrated how students learn pragmatically.

Author Biographies

Mun Yee Lai, University of Technology, Sydney

Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education

School of Educaion


Virginia Kinnear, Flinders University

Lecturer in Early Childhood Mathematics Education

School of Education

Chun Ip Fung, The Education University of Hong Kong

Assistant Professer in Mathematics Education

Department of Mathematics and Information Technology