Reflections is a monthly column for teachers, by teachers on topics of interest to mathematics educators: reflections on classroom experiences, professional development opportunities, resource reviews, and more. If you are interested in sharing your own ideas with mathematics educators in the province (and beyond), consider contributing to this column! Contact us at email@example.com.
An Open Conversation About Curriculum
“When am I going to use this in the real world?”
I don’t know if it’s because I teach math, or if all teachers are asked this question, but it’s the time of year during which it comes up a lot. And this year, for the first time, I engaged in a conversation with the students instead of issuing a witty remark such as, “Well you might not, but the smart kids will,” which usually garners plenty of chuckles and allows us to move on, forgetting the question that was asked in the first place.
But students should question. Why are they learning these particular mathematical concepts, and why right now, and when are they going to be useful? We are trying each day to help students become critical thinkers and problem solvers, but too often shut them down when they inquire about the purpose of a lesson. Continue reading