Extending Mathematical Understanding (EMU) Intervention Program

EMU is a research-based intervention program developed by Dr Ann Gervasoni of Monash University. It has been shown to improve children’s knowledge and confidence with mathematics. The program offers intensive learning opportunities for students who are experiencing difficulty in learning  mathematics in the early years and beyond. Importantly it provides professional learning that offers individual or groups of teachers’ expertise and leadership in mathematical learning. Underpinning the program is an accreditation process that ensures that all involved maintain ongoing learning  in this essential curriculum area and have the expertise to deliver professional learning to their colleagues, and work within a whole school approach to improving learning and teaching for all.

For information about dates, venues and registrations please go to the Numeracy short courses.

The program has three key components.

1. Leading Mathematics Learning and Teaching Course

This is a six-day program plus action research project for the school leadership team.

Course content includes:

  • Developing instructional leadership for implementing a whole school approach to improving mathematical learning and teaching
  • Using the Mathematics Assessment Interview data and a Growth Point Framework to guide and implement a school action plan
  • Understanding issues associated with whole number learning and leading associated teacher professionals
  • Exploring the features of high quality learning and teaching in mathematics

2. Specialist Teacher Course (P-2 and Middle Years)

This program educates specialist EMU teachers and involves field-based learning and a six-day spaced learning program. The field-based learning component involves teachers planning and implementing an EMU Program (5 x 45 minute sessions per week) throughout the year. The six-day program involves workshops, data analysis  and reviewing video excerpts simulating ‘behind-the-screen sessions’. Professional interaction, critical reflection, associated discussion and professional reading are important aspects of the program.

Specialist Teacher Course includes:

  • understanding the distinctive nature of learning mathematics for low-attaining students
  • using data from the Early Numeracy Interview to identify students who are low- attaining and to prioritise children for placement in an intervention program
  • diagnosing individual learning needs
  • ongoing monitoring and assessment of mathematical learning
  • planning and implementing an EMU program
  • understanding the nature of number growth point barriers and the nature of learning required to move beyond these barriers
  • strategies for accelerating the learning of underperforming students in counting, place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • the role of children’s confidence and attitude in learning mathematics
  • the role of metacognition and reflection in learning
  • the role of families and communities in enhancing mathematical learning

For successful course completion it is a requirement to participate in all 6 professional learning days, and to conduct the EMU Program daily throughout the year for a minimum of 10 weeks (25 hours), but ideally for 20 weeks or more. You must also complete two EMU Ongoing Professional Learning days annually to  maintain the EMU Specialist Accreditation.

3. EMU Ongoing Professional Learning (an accreditation requirement)

In order to maintain EMU accreditation teachers who have completed the Specialist Teacher Course must participate in two days of professional learning each year. The EMU ongoing professional learning program is designed to ensure that all EMU-trained teachers maintain fidelity to implementation of EMU  and interventions in their school setting.

There will be two days of professional learning clearly designed to improve student outcomes and build EMU teacher/leader capacity.

The program has been designed to build the capacity of existing EMU-trained teachers:

  • around explicit mathematics planning and instruction using the current EMU evidenced based best practices
  • through professional dialogue with their peers around Mathematics teaching and learning
  • to facilitate dialogue around intervention planning with school teaching teams
  • to adhere to EMU principles and guidelines

Participation in the ongoing professional learning program is essential to maintain accreditation.


For further information about this program please contact contact us on: