MATHS 710 : Directed Study in Mathematics Education


2020 Summer School (1200) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

No prescription

Course Overview

This short seminar is intended for those who are interested in the epistemological nature of mathematics, its teaching and learning. The seminar will revolve around the Commognitive Framework by Prof Anna Sfard from Haifa Univesity (Israel). The framework offers some eye-opening ideas on mathematical thinking and learning, and on how students can and should be supported in this challenging endeavor. The commognitive framework was introduced in 2008 and it has been praised for its breadth, depth and applicability to many educational settings, including small children, middle-schoolers, university students, and teacher training.

In a highly interactive and collaborative environment, we are going to discuss the subject in a critical manner based on contemporary research, and teaching-and-learning experiences that the seminar students bring to the classroom. Students' engagement, contribution, and collaboration are the key to the success of the seminar. 

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 3: Solution Seeking
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. Have a basic understanding of the commognitive framework (Capability 1)
  2. Critically engage with each other's ideas and experiences (Capability 4)
  3. Contextualize their new knowledge in a broader disciplinary discourse (Capability 1 and 2)
  4. Analyze professional situations through the offered theoretical lens (Capability 2 and 3)
  5. Generate their own opinions on the subject building on the works of others (Capability 5)
  6. Contextualize their thoughts in a broader social context (Capability 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Intermediate written assignments 30% Individual Coursework
Contribution to classroom discussions 5% Individual Coursework
Peer review of final essays 5% Individual Coursework
Leading a classroom discussion 20% Individual Coursework
Final essay 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Intermediate written assignments
Contribution to classroom discussions
Peer review of final essays
Leading a classroom discussion
Final essay

The students will need to get at least 50% in the Final Essay assignment to pass the course.

Learning Resources

Sfard, A. (2008). Thinking as communicating. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Special Requirements


Workload Expectations

For this course, you can expect up to six five-hour face-to-face meetings and around 10 hours weekly for reading, thinking about the content, and working on the 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 11/01/2020 03:12 p.m.