Teaching secondary mathematics as if the planet matters

Alf Coles, Richard Barwell, Tony Cotton, Jan Winter, Laurinda Brown

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

4 Citations (Scopus)


'This book moves us beyond a theoretical pondering of the issues and makes concrete suggestions for teachers and students for how things can be different in mathematics classrooms. This is long overdue.' Peter Gates, University of Nottingham Teaching Mathematics as if the Planet Matters explores how Mathematics teachers can develop approaches to curriculum and learning which help students understand the nature of the contemporary world. It sets out a model for teaching and learning that allows teachers to examine existing approaches to teaching and draw upon the insights of mathematics as a discipline to help students relate classroom mathematics to global issues such as climate change, the economy, food supplies, biodiversity, human rights, and social justice. Including practical examples, suggestions for teaching activities and detailed further reading sections, the book covers: • the mathematics of description in the measuring, recording and statistical analysis that informs our knowledge of climate change, consumption and sustainability; • the mathematics of prediction in the modelling used by governments, scientists and businesses to plan roads, power stations and food supplies and their effects; • the mathematics of communication in the news reports, blogs and environmental campaigns, incomplete without graphs, charts and statistics. The true worth of a school subject is revealed in how far it can account for and respond to the major issues of the time. The issue of the environment cuts across subject boundaries and requires an interdisciplinary response. Mathematics teachers are part of that response and they have a crucial role in helping students to respond to environmental issues and representations.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherTaylor & Francis Group
Number of pages173
ISBN (Print)9780203357286
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


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