`This book moves us beyond a theoretical pondering of the issues and makes concrete suggestions for teachers and students for how things can be different in mathematics classrooms. This is long overdue.'
Peter Gates, University of Nottingham
Teaching Mathematics as if the Planet Matters explores how Mathematics teachers can develop approaches to curriculum and learning which help students understand the nature of the contemporary world. It sets out a model for teaching and learning that allows teachers to examine existing approaches to teaching and draw upon the insights of mathematics as a discipline to help students relate classroom mathematics to global issues such as climate change, the economy, food supplies, biodiversity, human rights, and social justice.
Including practical examples, suggestions for teaching activities and detailed further reading sections, the book covers:
the mathematics of description in the measuring, recording and statistical analysis that informs our knowledge of climate change, consumption and sustainability;
the mathematics of prediction in the modelling used by governments, scientists and businesses to plan roads, power stations and food supplies and their effects;
the mathematics of communication in the news reports, blogs and environmental campaigns, incomplete without graphs, charts and statistics.
The true worth of a school subject is revealed in how far it can account for and respond to the major issues of the time. The issue of the environment cuts across subject boundaries and requires an interdisciplinary response. Mathematics teachers are part of that response and they have a crucial role in helping students to respond to environmental issues and representations.
Alf Coles is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol, UK. Richard Barwell is Professor of Education at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Tony Cotton, now retired, was Associate Dean of the Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. Jan Winter, now retired, was Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education at the University of Bristol, UK. Laurinda Brown is Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education at the University of Bristol, UK.
Section 1. A Critical Stance on Global Issues 1. The Role of Mathematics in Shaping our World 2. The Ecomony 3. Climate Change 4. Food 5. Biodiversity 6. Towards a Mathematics for Human Rights and Social Justice Section 2. Into the Classroom as if the Planet Matters 7. Critical Mathematics Education - from theory to practice 8. Starting from Statistics 9. Starting from Algebra 10. Starting from Number 11. Starting from Geometry 12. Starting from Probability