1st Edition

Teaching Secondary Mathematics as if the Planet Matters

    192 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    192 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    ‘This book moves us beyond a theoretical pondering of the issues and makes concrete suggestions for teachers and students for how things can be different in mathematics classrooms. This is long overdue.’

    Peter Gates, University of Nottingham

    Teaching Mathematics as if the Planet Matters explores how Mathematics teachers can develop approaches to curriculum and learning which help students understand the nature of the contemporary world. It sets out a model for teaching and learning that allows teachers to examine existing approaches to teaching and draw upon the insights of mathematics as a discipline to help students relate classroom mathematics to global issues such as climate change, the economy, food supplies, biodiversity, human rights, and social justice.

    Including practical examples, suggestions for teaching activities and detailed further reading sections, the book covers:

    • the mathematics of description in the measuring, recording and statistical analysis that informs our knowledge of climate change, consumption and sustainability;
    • the mathematics of prediction in the modelling used by governments, scientists and businesses to plan roads, power stations and food supplies and their effects;
    • the mathematics of communication in the news reports, blogs and environmental campaigns, incomplete without graphs, charts and statistics.

    The true worth of a school subject is revealed in how far it can account for and respond to the major issues of the time. The issue of the environment cuts across subject boundaries and requires an interdisciplinary response. Mathematics teachers are part of that response and they have a crucial role in helping students to respond to environmental issues and representations.

    Section 1. A Critical Stance on Global Issues  1. The Role of Mathematics in Shaping our World  2. The Ecomony  3. Climate Change  4. Food  5. Biodiversity  6. Towards a Mathematics for Human Rights and Social Justice  Section 2. Into the Classroom as if the Planet Matters  7. Critical Mathematics Education – from theory to practice  8. Starting from Statistics  9. Starting from Algebra  10. Starting from Number  11. Starting from Geometry  12. Starting from Probability


    Alf Coles is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol, UK.

    Richard Barwell is Professor of Education at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

    Tony Cotton, now retired, was Associate Dean of the Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK.

    Jan Winter, now retired, was Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education at the University of Bristol, UK.

    Laurinda Brown is Senior Lecturer in Mathematics Education at the University of Bristol, UK.

    "This book should inspire authors to write about problems that exist in a world with a richness of different examples that allow useful approaches." —Zentralblatt MATH