Mathematics in the MYP
Neglect of mathematics works injury to all knowledge, since he who is ignorant of it cannot know the other sciences or the things of the world.
Roger Bacon (1214–1294)
The study of mathematics is a fundamental part of a balanced education. It promotes a powerful universal language, analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills that contribute to the development of logical, abstract and critical thinking. Mathematics can help make sense of the world and allows phenomena to be described in precise terms. It also promotes careful analysis and the search for patterns and relationships, skills necessary for success both inside and outside the classroom. Mathematics, then, should be accessible to and studied by all students.
Studying mathematics, however, should be more than simply learning formulae or rules. Students should not have the impression that all of the answers to mathematics can be found in a book but, rather, that they can be active participants in the search for concepts and relationships. In that light, mathematics becomes a subject that is alive with the thrill of exploration and the rewards of discovery. At the same time, that new knowledge may then be applied to other situations, opening up even more doors for students. MYP mathematics promotes both inquiry and application, helping students to develop problem-solving techniques that transcend the discipline and that are useful in the world outside school.
An MYP mathematics programme should be tailored to the needs of students, seeking to intrigue and motivate them to want to learn its principles. Students should see authentic examples of how mathematics is useful and relevant to their lives and be encouraged to apply it to new situations. Mathematics provides the foundation for the study of sciences, engineering and technology. However, it is also evident in the arts and is increasingly important in economics, the social sciences and the structure of language. Students in the MYP are encouraged to use ICT tools to represent information, to explore and model situations, and to find solutions to various problems. These are skills that are useful in a wide range of arenas. MYP mathematics aims to equip all students with the knowledge, understanding and intellectual capabilities to address further courses in mathematics, as well as to prepare those students who will use mathematics in their studies, workplaces and lives in general.