Message from the Minister

Strengthening the focus on mathematics in our education system is about preparing young people for life and work in the 21st century. Today’s students need to be supported to develop the problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will empower them to build the capacity to overcome challenges, realise opportunities and be successful in an ever-changing workplace.

The development of mathematical skills such as reasoning, analytical thinking, communicating and problem-solving will provide today’s younger generation with solid foundations to succeed in an evolving world.

The NSW Mathematics Strategy supports the NSW Government’s strong commitment to building excellence in the teaching profession. The strategy incorporates priorities to employ 100 specialist primary school mathematics teachers over five years and award up to 320 scholarships valued at up to $50,000 each to STEM undergraduates and career changers for a Master in Teaching (Mathematics) degree. These actions complement statewide access to quality professional learning, as well as the introduction of additional Mathematics Ambassadors to foster a love for mathematics, following the success of mathematics educator Eddie Woo.

As part of the NSW Curriculum Reform, the NSW Department of Education will work with the NSW Education Standards Authority and Skills and Higher Education to design and develop mathematics courses for students in Kindergarten to Year 12. Students will have the opportunity to study mathematics in every year of their schooling, increasing their post-school pathways and life options.

We want students to understand and use the power of mathematics, no matter their numerical ability. This will be possible with the strategy’s new mathematics-based HSC course, currently being piloted, which focuses on practical applications of mathematics.

Arming students with mathematics will help them succeed in tertiary education, including those in STEM, and apply mathematical thinking and skills in a wide range of careers. Many of these jobs will play a transformative role in our future economy and society.

The combined initiatives of the strategy will enable us to strengthen mathematics teaching so that students across NSW develop the mathematical skills as a companion to succeed in life.

The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning
October 2020

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