Skip to content

Teach the Mathematics of Mathematicians

Written by Peter Taylor

Abstract: The secondary-school mathematics curriculum is narrow in scope and technical in character; this is quite different from the nature of the discipline itself. As a result, it offers little inspiration to both students and teachers, and provides students with poor preparation for university mathematics courses and indeed for life. Over the past century, recently more than ever, there have been calls for change, for a curriculum that is true to the subject of mathematics as the creation and study of patterns and structures. While there are hopeful responses to this at the elementary level, there is almost nothing at the secondary level. Ironically, it is felt that in order to prepare students for university calculus, the secondary curriculum simply has to be what it is. This is a special case of a myth that needs to be destroyed. 

Keywords: secondary school; mathematics curriculum; structure; aesthetics; experience

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Queen’s University, Kingston ON, K7L 3N6, Canada;; Tel.: +1-613-533-2434 

Received: 28 February 2018; Accepted: 13 April 2018; Published: 20 April 2018