Meaningful Mathematics is devoted to the dissemination of curricular materials that have student problem-posing and inquiry as their central objective. Work within a discipline involves asking new questions and generating new knowledge. We should invite our students into this process of expanding our mathematical world.
Mathematics is invaluable as a tool for studying our world and for supporting active and questioning citizenship. Meaningful Mathematics seeks to help teachers help their students use mathematics to deepen their understanding of society. Mathematics is also worth exploring because of the wonder and excitement that abstract investigations can inspire.
As a complement to most curricula, which focus on mastery of the technical skills of mathematics, Meaningful Mathematics is concerned with abstract and applied mathematics research. The doing of both pure mathematics and mathematical modeling should provide the foundation for our students' mathematical experiences. These two activities, and the skills and habits which support them, are largely overlapping and intertwined. However, the different objectives of each motivate attention to certain distinct skills that must be taught explicitly.
Click here for our Mathematical Modeling Curriculum.
Click here to find out about teaching Mathematics Research.
Note to readers of the NCTM 2001 Yearbook on Representation: Additional information on the political parties activity (in the Modeling Cycle chapter) and high school and middle school versions of the accompanying software can be downloaded from the Mathematical Modeling Curriculum page. See the other available sections of the curriculum to learn more about the course described in the article.
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Webmaster and Author: Joshua Abrams