The development of mathematics has always gone hand in hand with the development of civilisation itself. What is more, numeracy – the application of mathematics to solve problems in real-world contexts – plays a critical part in our everyday lives, and in the economic health of the nation. It is imperative, therefore, that mathematics and numeracy experiences are as engaging, exciting and accessible as possible for learners, and that these experiences are geared towards ensuring that learners develop mathematical resilience.
What matters in this Area has been expressed in four statements which support and complement one another. Formal mathematics has developed through rigorous logical reasoning. It involves inventing or discovering abstract objects and establishing the relationships between them. Mathematical thinking involves applying similarly logical reasoning, this time to the investigation of relations within and between concepts, along with justifying and proving findings.
- The number system is used to represent and compare relationships between numbers and quantities.
- Algebra uses symbol systems to express the structure of mathematical relationships.
- Geometry focuses on relationships involving shape, space and position, and measurement focuses on quantifying phenomena in the physical world.
- Statistics represent data, probability models chance, and both support informed inferences and decisions.