How can we meaningfully engage our students with maths? One of the lead authors of our new IB Diploma Maths textbooks, Ibrahim Wazir, considers the modelling and inquiry approaches at their heart.
Why do we teach students mathematics in schools?
We teach students science, languages, art, and so on to make them literate, but we are not making every student a poet, an artist, or a scientist. Similarly, we are realistically not preparing every student to be a mathematician. Instead, we teach students to at least prepare them to be mathematically literate.
A mathematically literate student will be able to:
How can we achieve meaningful engagement with maths?
Students learn more from our actions as teachers than our words. If we want students to build authentic understanding of the discipline of mathematics, we need to engage them in doing mathematics that includes activities which lead them to notice, wonder, imagine, conjecture, investigate, figure, reason, connect, and prove as they learn new mathematical content.
The new ‘Approaches to Teaching and Learning’ require us to create clearer strategies for facilitating learning experiences in which students are more meaningfully engaged in structured inquiry and greater critical and creative thinking, but how can we achieve this?
There are two main ways that the new Pearson IB Diploma Maths textbooks do this:
Creative model construction: Given a real-world scenario, students learn to identify a problem, propose a model, test assumptions, refine the model as necessary, fit the model to data if appropriate, and appraise the sensitivity of the conclusions.
Model analysis: Given a model, students learn to work backwards to uncover the implicit underlying assumptions.
Maths is not about following directions, it’s about making new directions.
That’s the motto of the team of experienced IB teachers, examiners, workshop leaders and experts in mathematics and educational technology that I worked with to write Pearson’s new IB Diploma Maths textbooks.
These books address students the way their teachers do. One user of the present editions told us: ‘It is the one book I know which explains in the same way I teach!’ With the new syllabus starting in the 2019-2020 school year, the books will offer complete coverage of the syllabus, and here are ten reasons why you need them in your classroom:
Top ten features of the new IB Diploma Maths textbooks
About Ibrahim Wazir
Ibrahim Wazir taught Maths at Vienna International School, the American International School, Vienna, and at Webster University, Vienna. He has been an IB Maths Assistant Examiner, Chief Examiner and a member of the Curriculum Committee. He has also run IB workshops for new and experienced teachers.
Read more from Ibrahim on the Pearson International Schools Community:
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