Making mathematics popular: connect to real life

Nils Ahbel has written an excellent article for the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation  called “Mathematics Curriculum It’s Time For a Change“.

In this article he shows how the majority of the mathematics taught in schools is highly irrelevant to the majority of students. Because they cannot see any point to it in relation to their everyday lives.

He suggests that students need to study statistics so as they can interact with the mass of data (much of it falsely presented ) that will effect their everyday lives. I cannot agree more.

The mathematics is not at fault it us the boring curriculum! if you find something of interest then many of them will discover just how interesting indeed fascinating Mathematics can be.

Below is a great Ignite talk about music by Karen Cheng called  “How to Solve a Song With Math”. It is a wonderful little talk with just a little bit of data presentation about two sound waves. I would be surprised if students did not enjoy this and learn a really useful lesson about mathematics and its application to solving problems as well. This is surely the sort of thing that Nils Ahbel is getting at in his article.

Mathematics is too important to our collective future to be so hated by so many….. we need to take heed of what so many people are saying and change the curriculum to make it fit for our lives and their futures.


One thought on “Making mathematics popular: connect to real life

  1. Hi Malcom,
    Stumbled across your twitter as I was doing a search for middle school math teachers, which led me to your blog…excellent posts, insights and links. I particularly enjoyed this post and your link to Nils Ahbel – as a former high school math teacher myself, I completely agree with the perspective that he provides – we need to make math interesting. I agree that part of this revolves around connecting the cirriculum to real life, and also think that part of it has to do with engaging students in basic math competencies at early grades so that they have a strong foundation to explore more advanced math and real-world situations.

    I left the classroom to join an educational technology company (Sokikom) that is working to solve this problem by creating math lessons that are truly engaging and interesting for students. Reading this post, your blog and your twitter, I wanted to let you know about Sokikom, which is an online tool teachers use to (1) streamline classroom management, and (2) differentiate math instruction. Sokikom is FREE product built based on the feedback from teachers and U.S. Department of Education research grants. As I read your blog it seemed like you might be interested…so I thought I’d pass it along. We’ve gotten an incredible amount of feedback from teachers using Sokikom, but are always looking for new suggestions as well, so if you decide to give it a try, please don’t hesitate to reach out me personally with questions or feedback! I think your deep and engaged perspective on the deep factors at play in making math interesting would be incredibly insightful for us to learn from.

    Looking forward to your next post, you’re on my blogroll now!
    Austin Boehm, Director of Teacher Happiness

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