Presenter Abstract & Bio
Exploring senior secondary Mathematics enrolments in Australia
Gregory Hine, Senior Lecturer, Secondary Mathematics Education, University of Notre Dame Australia
Conference Focus Area: Exploring the use of data and research to enrich learning and feedback to ensure all students achieve at least one year’s growth, every year
This paper presents the reasons why Year 11 and Year 12 Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR) students in Western Australia elect not to enrol in a higher mathematics course. In addition to drawing on a growing body of literature within Australia regarding this phenomenon, this paper focuses chiefly on the findings of two research projects.
The first project examined the perspectives of 50 Heads of Learning Area (HOLAMs) who indicated that two mathematics courses are not needed for university entrance, there are other viable and less rigorous courses of study available, and students can maximise their Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR) score without completing these mathematics courses.
The second project gave voice to 1351 students who expressed dissatisfaction with mathematics, an opinion that there are other more viable courses of study to pursue, and that the ATAR can be maximised by taking a lower mathematics course. In addition, student testimony suggests that there are few incentives offered for undertaking a higher mathematics course, and that such courses are not needed for university entrance nor later life.
These findings, together with those emerging in other Australian states, highlight various issues which affect students' decisions to enrol in more difficult mathematics courses.
Dr Gregory Hine, is a Senior Lecturer in Secondary Mathematics Education at the University of Notre Dame Australia, and he trains pre-service secondary teachers in mathematical content and pedagogy. Greg has written several textbooks for senior secondary mathematics courses, as well mathematics teachers. In 2019 he received the Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Greg’s areas of scholarly interest are chiefly focussed on the teaching and learning of secondary school mathematics, and applied educational research. He is currently involved with several international research projects involving the preparation of pre-service secondary mathematics teachers. Greg’s publications are available to view at