Underpinning the VCAL Numeracy Skills Units is the concept that skills development occurs best when it takes place within social contexts and for social purpose. Like the Literacy Skills Units, the purpose of the Numeracy Skills Units is to develop skills and knowledge that allow effective participation in the four main social contexts in which we function in Australian society. In the Numeracy Skills Units numeracy and mathematics are interlinked. Numeracy gives meaning to mathematics and mathematics is the tool to be used efficiently and critically. Numeracy is not associated with a level of mathematics, but is the critical awareness which builds bridges between mathematics, and the real world. The numeracy learning outcomes were developed with this view in mind, where mathematics is seen as the knowledge and skills to be applied and used for a range of purposes and in a variety of contexts.
The learning outcomes are organised into four different domains:
- Numeracy for Personal Organisation: l matters involving money, time and travel.
- Numeracy for Interpreting Society: relates to interpreting and reflecting on numerical, statistical and graphical information of relevance to self, work or community.
- Numeracy for Practical Purposes addresses aspects of the physical world to do with designing, making and measuring. It incorporates mathematic skills related to the appreciation and application of shape and measurement.
- Numeracy for Knowledge is included at the senior level. It deals with learning about formal mathematical skills and conventions needed for further study in mathematics.
The mathematics areas of number; space and shape, data, measurement, and algebra are present within the above domains.
Assessment can include:
- Records of teacher observations of students’ activities, oral presentations and practical tasks
- Samples of students’ written work
- Written reports of investigations or problem solving activities
- Student self-assessment sheets, reflections, or journal entries
- Pictures, diagrams, models created by students