The 40th General Conference of UNESCO in 2019 proclaimed 14 March as International Mathematics Day. A date that had long been marked on the calendar, since in some countries it was celebrated as Pi Number Day (π), as 3/14 are the first three digits of this famous number.
This year’s theme, the third “official” edition, is “Mathematics Unities“. A proposal that invites us to reflect on its role as a universal language capable of uniting us as equals, regardless of our place of origin, language, religion, etc.
ProFuturo and mathematics
At ProFuturo we also believe in this unifying power and, since our inception, we have promoted the development of mathematical competence as one of the priorities of our educational proposal. In this great commitment to mathematics, we act through different lines of work.
The first is teacher training. The scientist Edsger Dijkstra once said that boring mathematics shouldn’t exist… How can teachers meet this challenge? In our training offer, we provide teachers from all over the world with the course JUMP Math! Mathematics for all. The aim of this training is to improve the teaching capabilities of primary school teachers in the area of mathematics, inspired by the philosophy and methodology of JUMP Math: a teaching-learning model that allows all students to acquire a mathematical basis sufficient to face life and professional challenges with confidence.
In addition, we have created ProFuturo Mathematics our own proposal to develop and improve mathematical competence in children from 8 to 12 years old. Its advantage is that it can be implemented in any geographical area, as it is based on scientific evidence of neurodevelopmental competence and not on local curricular content. The most distinctive feature of this proposal is that such a complex application has been adapted to be used offline in the schools where the ProFuturo programme is implemented, although in the coming months it will also be available openly for all teachers and students.
In addition, on our digital platform we have 16 teaching units for students from 6 to 8 years of age which delve into the world of arithmetic, algebra and geometry, three branches of mathematics that are fundamental for building a solid foundation in this subject in the primary school. Available in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese, these contents are designed to motivate students and make learning enjoyable and friendly, avoiding frustration.
Closely related to mathematical thinking is computational thinking, which plays a key role in the digital education of young children. That is why we also include it in our proposal, through learning experiences that allow us to put mathematical knowledge into practice in order to respond to specific challenges. For example, giving students the possibility to use 3D design tools helps them to work on angles, geometric figures and measurements.
As Javier González Casado, from ProFuturo’s Innovation and Product team explains, “our approach focuses on offering an ecosystem of resources, tools and content for the creation of memorable learning experiences for teachers linked to the ProFuturo programme, in order to achieve a significant reinforcement and comprehensive improvement of mathematical language among children in the environments with the greatest educational gap”.
Mathematics, in the end, is at the very heart of our project, which does not understand borders and seeks to subtract the differences that separate us from equal opportunities. United in purpose, we want to take the education and digital divides out of the equation.
If you want to know more about the situation of mathematics learning in the most vulnerable areas and learn about innovative methods for teaching mathematics, the ProFuturo Observatory has a wealth of articles to inform you. Learn more about them!