Effective teaching of Problem-solving in Mathematics Years 5 – 9

Learning Focus
Literacy and Numeracy
Start Date

Available anytime

Program Description

Problem-solving in mathematics is about solving problems! If you know what to do, then it’s not a problem. Moving students from a state of confusion to one of clarity is an ongoing challenge in the classroom. Effective problem-solving is about supporting students to increase their repertoire of strategies in a holistic way using intentionally planned tasks characterised by low floors and high ceilings. It is also about supporting students to develop metacognitive skills, a growth mindset, and the dispositions to tackle challenges and be persistent.

Associate Professor Helen Chick (UTas) will lead participants to explore high quality tasks with an emphasis on how to use these effectively in the classroom using enabling and extending prompts.

This will be a spaced, 2 day program.

Program Outcomes

As a result of engaging in the course, participants will:

  • increase the depth of their knowledge of content and interconnections across key areas of mathematics, with emphasis on embedding the mathematical proficiencies of problem-solving and reasoning into lesson planning and teaching
  • develop their pedagogical content knowledge in relation to developing a problem-solving culture in their classrooms
  • be introduced to quality resources to support the use of problem-solving and reasoning in their planning
  • develop confidence in selecting and adapting tasks, including creating enabling and extending prompts
  • be accountable for trialling challenging tasks and collecting student work samples showcasing their mathematical explanations and justifications.
Australian Professional Standards


Standard 1 – Know students and how they learn

Standard 2 – Know content and how to teach it

Standard 3 – Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning

Standard 5 – Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning

Standard 6 – Engage in professional learning


Leading teaching and learning

Leading improvement, innovation and change