October 8, 2012

Mathematics

Aims

The aims of the teaching and study of MYP mathematics are to encourage and enable students to:

  • Enjoy mathematics and to develop curiosity as well as an appreciation of its elegance and power
  • Develop an understanding of the principles and nature of mathematics
  • Communicate clearly and confidently in a variety of contexts
  • Develop logical, critical and creative thinking, and patience and persistence in problem solving
  • Develop power of generalization and abstraction
  • Apply and transfer skills to a wide range of situations including real life, other areas of knowledge and future developments
  • Appreciate how developments in technology and mathematics have influenced each other
  • Appreciate the moral, social and ethical implications arising from the work of mathematicians and the applications of mathematics
  • Appreciate the international dimension in mathematics through an awareness of the universality of mathematics and its multicultural and historical perspectives
  • Appreciate the contribution of mathematics to other areas of knowledge
  • Develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to pursue further studies in mathematics
  • Develop the ability to reflect critically upon their own work and the work of others

 

Objectives

 

Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge and understanding are fundamental to studying mathematics and form the base from which to explore concepts and develop problem-solving skills. Through knowledge and understanding, students develop mathematical reasoning to make deductions and solve problems.

 

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Know and demonstrate understanding of the concepts from the five branches of mathematics (number, algebra, geometry and trigonometry, statistics and probability, and discrete mathematics)
  • Use appropriate mathematical concepts and skills to solve problems in both familiar and unfamiliar situations, including those in real-life contexts
  • Select and apply general rules correctly to make deductions and solve problems, including those in real-life contexts.

Investigating patterns

Investigating patterns allows students to experience the excitement and satisfaction of mathematical discovery. Working through investigations encourages students to become risk-takers, inquirers and critical thinkers.

The ability to inquire is invaluable in the MYP and contributes to lifelong learning.

 

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Select and apply appropriate inquiry and mathematical problem-solving techniques
  • Recognize patterns
  • Describe patterns as relationships or general rules
  • Draw conclusions consistent with findings
  • Justify or prove mathematical relationships and general rules

Communication in mathematics

Mathematics provides a powerful and universal language. Students are expected to use mathematical language appropriately when communicating mathematical ideas, reasoning and findings–both orally and in writing.

 

At the end of the course, students should be able to communicate mathematical ideas, reasoning and findings by being able to:

  • use appropriate mathematical language in both oral and written explanations
  • use different forms of mathematical representation
  • communicate a complete and coherent mathematical line of reasoning using different forms of representation when investigating problems.

Students are encouraged to choose and use information and communication technology (ICT) tools as appropriate and, where available, to enhance communication of their mathematical ideas. Some of the possible ICT tools used in mathematics include spreadsheets, graph plotter software, dynamic geometry software, computer algebra systems, mathematics content-specific software, graphic display calculators (GDC), word processing, desktop publishing, graphic organizers and screenshots.

Reflection in mathematics

MYP mathematics encourages students to reflect upon their findings and problem-solving processes.

Students are encouraged to examine different problem-solving strategies and share their thinking with teachers and peers. Critical reflection in mathematics helps students gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses as learners and to appreciate the value of errors as powerful motivators to enhance learning and understanding.

 

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Explain whether their results make sense in the context of the problem
  • Explain the importance of their findings in connection to real life where appropriate
  • Justify the degree of accuracy of their results where appropriate
  • Suggest improvements to the method when necessary

 

From: Middle Years Programme Mathematics Guide, International Baccalaureate Organization, 2011