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.
The aims of all MYP subjects state what a teacher may expect to teach and what a student may expect to experience and learn. These aims suggest how the student may be changed by the learning experience.
The aims of MYP mathematics are to encourage and enable students to:
- enjoy mathematics, develop curiosity and begin to appreciate its elegance and power
- develop an understanding of the principles and nature of mathematics
- communicate clearly and confidently in a variety of contexts
- develop logical, critical and creative thinking
- develop confidence, perseverance, and independence in mathematical thinking and problem-solving
- develop powers of generalization and abstraction
- apply and transfer skills to a wide range of real-life situations, other areas of knowledge and future developments
- appreciate how developments in technology and mathematics have influenced each other
- appreciate the moral, social and ethical implications arising from the work of mathematicians and the applications of mathematics
- appreciate the international dimension in mathematics through an awareness of the universality of mathematics and its multicultural and historical perspectives
- appreciate the contribution of mathematics to other areas of knowledge
- develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to pursue further studies in mathematics
- develop the ability to reflect critically upon their own work and the work of others.