Connecting Mathematics and Other School Subjects
Although it is necessary and important that we set aside a particular time of every school day for the study of mathematics, we need to guard against creating the impression that mathematics is disconnected from the rest of what we study in school. Because of the relationships that we have described between the real world and mathematics, we need to understand that mathematics can be meaningfully discussed in science lessons, in social studies lessons, in literature and reading lessons, in music and art classes, and in virtually every area of the curriculum. Mathematics already plays an important role in all of these areas of the curriculum. We do not need to force mathematics into areas that it does not easily belong. What we do need to do is to be aware of mathematics in these other curriculum areas and look for ways to make the connections visible and explicit. This means that when we are teaching subjects other than math, we need to locate and mention the mathematical implications of what we are teaching, even if the areas of math we find do not coincide with what our curriculum for math says we are supposed to teach that year. It also means that when we are teaching math and we can find or think of ways the math content could be applied to science or social studies or something else, we need to develop that connection. We need to construct appropriate context problems (word problems) that relate to topics we are teaching in science and social studies, for example.
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