Depth of Understanding Versus Covering the Curriculum

After attending parent teacher interviews tonight, I have been left a bit perplexed. The Australian Curriculum has provided our systems with a common road to travel along, and sign posts along the way to monitor whether we are on the right track. Is the goal to just get to the end of the road, or to actually understand the journey and be able to use the information and apply it to other situations?

I want my children to have depth of understanding, so that if they forget a rule or a step they can actually use a logical order to work out the problem. However, teachers believe that to get that level of understanding they would have to spend considerably more time, and would then be unable to get through the curriculum. So, what sort of learners do we end up with? Students who can remember to follow steps. Will they be able to recognise in which situations they can apply their ‘steps’ to solve a problem?

Surely there has to be more to mathematics than just learning a set procedure to follow.

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