MATHS 708 : Special Topic


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

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Course Overview

Special Topic: Affect and Aesthetics in Mathematics Education
Does pleasure feature in mathematics teaching and learning? How about pain?
Mathematics is often considered beautiful by working mathematicians: what about mathematics teaching? Or learning?

This course will explore questions about the role of affect (e.g., emotions, attitudes, beliefs, motivation) and aesthetics (e.g., appreciation of beauty, elegance) in mathematics education. It is suitable for teachers of mathematics (at any level), and students studying mathematics or statistics at university with an interest in education.

Preparation: MATHS 302 or departmental permission are pre-requisites for this course.

Students may wish to take this course if they are interested in:
* Broadening their understanding of current research on affect and aesthetics in mathematics education
* Reflecting on their own affective/aesthetic experiences in teaching and/or learning mathematics
* Developing their ability to communicate ideas in writing

This course can be taken as part of a MProfStuds(Mathematics Education), PGDipSci, BSc(Hons), or as preparatory work for doctoral research.

The skills developed in this course are particularly useful for those wishing to pursue or further a career in mathematics teaching, or  mathematics education research.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: MATHS 302 or significant teaching experience or department approval

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify, explain and evaluate different concepts and theories about affect and aesthetics in mathematics education (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Construct clear, reasoned, logical written arguments based on critical reflection on experience and relevant concepts and theories (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  3. Design and communicate novel aesthetic and/or affective experiences of mathematics for a general audience (Capability 1, 4 and 6)
  4. Create written essays that demonstrate academic integrity and use appropriate referencing and citation (Capability 4 and 5)
  5. Work collaboratively and constructively to offer useful, respectful critiques of peers' work (Capability 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay portfolio 40% Individual Coursework
Presentation 20% Individual Coursework
Essay (final) 30% Individual Coursework
Peer critiques 10% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Essay portfolio
Essay (final)
Peer critiques
In order to pass the course, students must achieve at least 50% (15/30) on the Final Essay assignment.

Learning Resources

All readings will be made available on Canvas.

Special Requirements


Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 6-10 hours of class discussion, 30 hours of reading and thinking/writing about the content to prepare for class discussions, and 80 hours of work on assignments.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 06/07/2020 04:25 p.m.