Engaging Mathematics partners use issues of civic importance, such as sustainability, poverty, social justice, and ecotourism, to engage their students. Has anyone else taught mathematics through civic issues? How did it affect engagement? What effect did it have on student learning?
I keep my students active as much as possible. It keeps them from falling asleep in class. Even simple things like asking more questions and having them talk about a problem amongst themselves makes a difference. I haven’t tried using civic issues. I’m interested in how it works.
Civic issues are a great way to bring students in, especially if they are issues students already care about. Many of today’s problems, such as climate change and sustainability, are very real, with very real implications, not only to students, but to everyone. Asking students to tackle these problems in class, through material you teach them, shows the students that their thoughts are valued, that their work is important, and that what they are learning has real-world meaning.