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Bringing the world into the classroom: An investigation into the use of "real-world" mathematics in the high school classroom

1 December 1993


This paper takes a critical look at the use of "real-world" applications in a high school mathematics classroom. "Real-world" applications are those which evolve from either the world of business, science, or the student's own world. In the history of education the mathematics curriculum has swung' back and forth between teaching mathematics in an abstract manner or using "real-world" applications. Lately the call has been for the use of more "real-world" applications in the mathematics classroom.

There are many arguments for using "real-world" applications in the classroom. Student's understanding of a concept is thought to be increased when they can see how it is applied in the "real-world". The use of "real-world" applications are thought to increase a student's motivation to learn, they catch a student's attention. My observations show that while teachers acknowledge the importance of using "real-world" applications, for various reasons not much is being done to bring them into the mathematics classroom. We need to work to find a way to bring the "real-world" into the classroom.


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