Real World Math: Engaging Students Through Global Issues

Real World Math: Engaging Students Through Global Issues

Authored by Facing the Future

When introducing new mathematics concepts to students, you may have heard them ask, “When will I ever use this?” and “How does this affect me?” Real World Math: Engaging Students through Global Issues promotes student engagement by providing real data on global issues with a focus on practical solutions.

Foundational algebra and geometry skills are taught here within the context of global issues and sustainability. Sustainability refers to the ability of current generations to meet their needs without limiting the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Students will investigate a range of sustainability issues, including quality of life, community resource distribution, educational attainment, and waste/recycling methods.

These investigations encourage students to build on their mathematics knowledge while simultaneously using 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration with peers, and applying a global perspective. These combined skills will help prepare students for the future and engage them in problem-solving activities similar to ones they will encounter as active, engaged citizens.

The teacher’s guide includes 15 lessons that were inspired, researched, designed, and field tested by mathematics teachers and other education professionals. Lessons are aligned with learning standards developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Each lesson has additionally been aligned with concepts taught in the nation’s most widely used textbooks on introductory algebra and geometry. Real world data sets and teaching ideas have been included to further support contextual math explorations.

Action projects and lesson extensions have also been included to allow learning beyond one-day classroom activities. In addition, there are master pages that correspond to the student workbook—a resource that includes lesson handouts, supplemental worksheets, and topical sustainability readings. These lessons can be used as hook activities to start a unit of study, as reinforcement for previously learned concepts, or as real world assessments of learning.

This guide is a tool to help support your efforts in equipping your students with the knowledge and skills they need to solve problems big and small. Enjoy these investigations!