ESS516 Mathematics Difficulties: Prevention and Intervention (8)

This subject focuses on the prevention of mathematics difficulties in the primary school years and in designing interventions for individual children. The subject content is grounded in the scientifically based research on mathematics teaching and learning. Explicit teaching is the pedagogy for instruction used in the teaching of mathematics in this subject. There is a specific emphasis on assessment and the role of careful instructional design and delivery in the teaching of children who are at risk for mathematics difficulties. Students will apply their understanding of assessment, explicit teaching, and instructional decision making.


Session 1 (30)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ESS516. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Teacher Education

Enrolment Restrictions


Incompatible Subjects

ESS407, ESS408

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify a child's relative risk for mathematics difficulties using a reliable curriculum-based measure;
  • be able to understand and apply the principles of Curriculum Based Measurement and Curriculum-Based Assessment of Mathematics;
  • be able to recognise, understand and describe common mathematical difficulties experienced by diverse learners;
  • be able to summarise student performance and place children in a mathematics scope and sequence at their instructional level;
  • be able to develop an explicit teaching strategy for teaching a mathematics skill and then deliver the lesson which will receive peer feedback;
  • be able to differentiate their lesson using evidence-based strategies for adapting instruction; and,
  • be able to deliver their math lesson including all the key features of explicit teaching.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Mathematics Risk Assessment
  • Curriculum-Based Assessment (CBA) and Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) of Mathematics
  • Understanding Mathematical Difficulties
  • Placement
  • Building Evidence-Based Instruction
  • Mathematics Lesson Differentiation
  • Reflection
  • Delivering Evidence- Based Practice

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ESS516 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Assessment task 1 components a-c
Assessment task 2 components a-d

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.