Because there is another way to learn maths
We have started working on a project to transform the teaching of mathematics in European primary schools. Added Value, an initiative that we share with the School with Class Foundation (Poland), Universal Learning Systems (Ireland) and NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (Holland), has as its fundamental objective to reorient the way in which this subject has traditionally been taught, away from its more theoretical and abstract approach, but instead, to bring it closer to the phenomena of everyday life.
The project, which is funded by the Erasmus + Program of the European Union, is based on the idea that mathematics can not be understood as an independent reality of what happens beyond the walls of the school, but that they have to serve to solve real-life problems. Thus, Added Value aims to provide tools for educators so that they can teach the subject in a more integrated and connected way realated with local and global issues that affect society.
With the help and advice of a team of teachers and experts, a set of topics for primary education will be developed incorporating ideas on how to apply them in practical ways. As complementary materials, we will create a series of posters showing various professions that people would not often associate with maths and then prove via user investigation that they are in fact related. This broad concept of showing professions allows for students of any background to fill in the details themselves, ones that correlate with their own lives and experiences.
The project is mainly aimed at teachers of mathematics, but also at those of other subjects willing to participate in interdisciplinary projects, especially in the STEAM area (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics).
Ultimately, Added Value wants to modify the stereotype of a mathematics teacher: we hope, thus, to initiate a debate about the current role that the teacher should play in guiding students through a modern and complex world.
The project plans to use these tools in 25 schools within the four countries of the participants, involving at least 50 teachers and 500 students.