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Guide and features
Guide and features
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Featured Early Years Foundation Stage; US Kindergarten
Featured UK Key Stage 1&2; US Grades 1-4
Featured UK Key Stage 3-5; US Grades 5-12
Featured UK Key Stage 1, US Grade 1 & 2
Featured UK Key Stage 2; US Grade 3 & 4
Featured UK Key Stages 3 & 4; US Grade 5-10
Featured UK Key Stage 4 & 5; US Grade 11 & 12
Teaching Mathematics as If the Planet Matters
by Alf Coles, Richard Barwell, Tony Cotton, Jan Winter, Laurinda Brown
We feel passionately there are global issues threatening human life. We feel action is needed and that such issues need to be addressed in classrooms.
However, we take a critical stance both to our own ideas and the ideas of others.
In a classroom we hope to raise issues/questions and support exploration of them using mathematics. We do not want to determine what conclusions students draw nor what actions they take next.
We are at pains not to paint too bleak a picture and want to offer examples and activities that show action is possible, that positive change can take place.
We take the stance of a “critical mathematics education” (Skovsmose, 1994), which takes as a starting point that:
• We live in a technological society.
• Information technology involves a lot of mathematics.
• The mathematics embedded in information technology has tangible social effects.
In summary, mathematics does not simply describe the world, it changes it. This is the formatting power of mathematics (Barwell, 2013). A critical mathematics education tries to uncover the role of mathematics in shaping the current crises.
We have taken some global issues and tried to bring to light the role of mathematics.
by Richard Barwell
We have also taken some curriculum starting points and designed activities for the classroom:
Waste and Recycling
these larger cards
Population decline and growth
to teachers in Cambridge, together with
Sheffield temperature data
The book can be purchased
Meet the team
The NRICH Project aims to enrich the mathematical experiences of all learners. To support this aim, members of the NRICH team work in a wide range of capacities, including providing professional development for teachers wishing to embed rich mathematical tasks into everyday classroom practice. More information on many of our other activities can be found here.
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NRICH is part of the family of activities in the
Millennium Mathematics Project