for the learning of mathematics

Susan Staats - Vol. 27 Num. 1 (2007)
 Dynamic contexts and imagined worlds: an interdisciplinary approach to mathematics applications


This article describes a teaching experiment in which undergraduate algebra students studied exponential growth by estimating the impact of infectious diseases on personal income internationally. In this perspective on interdisciplinary context for mathematics applications, lessons address significant, nonmathematical learning goals. Using context to stimulate dialogue and multiple viewpoints can create the sense of imagined world important in RME and the dialogic, critical attitude towards mathematics valued by supporters of culturally-relevant pedagogies and mathematics for social justice. Many students must learn about the world and develop subjective positions on it before having an authentic purpose for studying mathematics.


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