Year 6 Reconciliation Data

Australian curriculum number (ACMSP147, ACMSP148, ACMNA132)

Summary of learning goals

This lesson interprets data of significance for Australian society, and provides an opportunity to develop and use mathematical skills in a humanities and civics context. The mathematical goals are to extend the students’ growing repertoire of data graphs to include side-by-side column graphs and 100% bar graphs. Students use knowledge of percentage, interpreted informally and also calculated. 

Rationale for this sequence

Mathematics extends beyond the physical and temporal restrictions of the maths classroom. The intention of this lesson is to use mathematics as a stepping-off point for a sensitive and personal reflection on attitudes towards indigenous people and culture within Australia.

The Reconciliation Barometer presents data collected from a bi-annual attitudinal survey conducted by Reconciliation Australia. The statistics provide a confronting and provocative profile of general community sentiment.

The intention of this lesson is to provoke young Australians to think broadly and carefully about what values they wish to see encouraged in the society in which they live.

reSolve Mathematics is Purposeful

Fluency – Students work with data and represent responses to questions using percentages as a way to compare populations, developing fluency with number and calculations in the process.

Problem solving – Many of the issues that are highlighted in the data from the Reconciliation Barometer are major social problems that our nation is currently engaged with. Mathematics cannot directly solve these problems, but it certainly provides tools and language to engage with the issues and represent the facts in the debate. Students are encouraged to participate in this debate and use their mathematical skills to examine attitudes and values of Australian people.

Reasoning – One of the primary functions of collecting data is to use it to answer questions or make statements of fact. This lesson provides an opportunity for students to start thinking and making reasoned and rational decisions about their own attitudes and responses to the question of reconciliation.

reSolve Tasks are Challenging Yet Accessible

All students are able to participate in the conversation around reconciliation. They are challenged to consider the issues of racism and prejudice from a personal perspective and reflect on their own thoughts.

reSolve Classrooms Have a Knowledge Building Culture

Students are encouraged to take action from this lesson, to start talking in their own school and community about the issues of racism and reconciliation. The opportunity is provided here to do more than just talk about these issues – students are invited to survey their own communities and collect data about some of the questions from the Reconciliation Barometer.