If you had the chance to start over with High School Maths…

June 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

then how would it look?

What are the ingredients that need to remain? What needs to be thrown out? What needs to be introduced?

There were a number of responses to the question on twitter so let’s consider them.

Phillip Cooke

Whenever anyone talks about hooks (engaging students in Maths without them knowing) then it’s always helpful to look at Dan Meyer. He has organised an array of ‘three-act’ Math tasks that provide students with a need-to-know that is immediate. Whether concepts are abstract or applicable to real life, there’s still a need for students to be motivated and this methodology helps engagement no-end.

Penny Bentley

I find that Authentic Problem Solving occurs when questions are open-ended, ill-structured and require conversation. They can’t just be sorted out by google and they require a combination of critical thinking skills and creativity. I like the work of NRICH because they have designed numerous tasks that have a low floor and a high ceiling ie. the posed questions can be attempted by most students however there are multiple avenues and varying levels of achievement all with the same task. They break down the questions by stage and topic so get amongst it.

Liz Gregson

The partnership for 21st Century Skills  offers some great ideas for connecting Maths outcomes with real world problems. While not each connection is inquiry-based there is a broad range of activities and projects to consider.

Lou Deibe

Project Based Learning has shown that engagement and rigour is heightened when students can be involved with the creation of learning and opportunities. This guide from the Innovation Unit is full of ways to help students question, fail, create, reflect, collaborate, critique, plan, design and curate.


There are some teachers who set the bar for authentic learning experiences. Take a look at the work of David Cox and Geoff Krall.

Graham Gallasch

P21 also has some handy Maths literacy links that are worth checking out.

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§ One Response to If you had the chance to start over with High School Maths…

  • Thanks Mark, a great response to your original question. A great starting point for teachers wanting to change their maths learning environment.

    Interestingly, there is no one answer, but lots more questions.

    It would curious, to ask the Queston “if you had the chance to start over high school maths what would you throw away?”

    Also, what would the physical environment look it? But that is another question.

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