Vision and Goals
Recent research and practice have provided a clearer understanding of how students learn mathematical concepts and skills. In addition, technology has changed how we access information and how students interact with mathematics. All students bring to school their mathematical experiences learned in various contexts. Schools should take advantage of these various experiences so that mathematics classrooms become places of diverse and inclusive learning that value multiple ways of knowing and doing. These places will allow all students to become flexible and adaptive learners in an ever-changing world. The vision of the mathematics curriculum is to help all students develop a positive identity as a mathematics learner and see themselves as mathematically skilled, to support them as they use mathematics to make sense of the world, and to enable them to make critical decisions based on mathematically sound principles. This vision is attained in a mathematics classroom filled with enthusiasm and excitement – a classroom where all students receive the highest-quality mathematics instruction and learning opportunities, interact as confident mathematics learners, and are thereby enabled to reach their full potential.
Success in mathematics has often been viewed as an important indicator of career success. The goal of the Ontario mathematics curriculum is to provide all students with the foundational skills required to:
- understand the importance of and appreciate the beauty of mathematics;
- recognize and appreciate multiple mathematical perspectives;
- make informed decisions and contribute fully to their own lives and to today’s competitive global community;
- adapt to changes and synthesize new ideas;
- work both independently and collaboratively to creatively approach challenges;
- communicate effectively;
- think critically and creatively and see connections to other disciplines beyond mathematics, such as other STEM disciplines.
In order to develop a strong understanding of mathematics, all students must feel that they are connected to the curriculum. They must see themselves in what is taught, in why it is taught, and in how it is taught. They must also see how their learning applies to their own context and to the world. The needs of learners are diverse, and all learners have the capacity to develop the knowledge, concepts, skills, and perspectives they need to become informed, productive, and responsible citizens in their own communities and in the world.
How mathematics is contextualized, positioned, promoted, discussed, taught, learned, evaluated, and applied affects all students. Mathematics must be appreciated for its innate beauty, as well as for its role in making sense of the world. Having a solid foundation in mathematics and a deep appreciation for and excitement about mathematics will help ensure that all students are confident and capable as they step into the future.