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Paper presented at the international conference on education, Redesigning Pedagogy: Research, Policy, Practice, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2005
Teachers in any country work within real constraints. In Singapore these include large classes as well as a
curriculum with approximate times allocated to different topics in order to complete the curriculum. They also
work within an environment where education is valued and students feel it is important to do well. Within this
system the question arises as to how teachers can incorporate real-life events into their classroom practice.
This paper describes how two teachers working in Singapore used the recent tsunami to generate a mathematics
task for use in the school. It describes the development and implementation as well as the difficulties
encountered in the implementation. The task was designed in such a way as to be integrated into the
curriculum. The activity was introduced in a seamless manner so the students would be using the mathematics
that they would ordinarily be working on in the curriculum. This enabled students and teachers to continue with
the curriculum; that is, the task is seen as part of the school programme and not as something that is “material
to be covered over and above the curriculum”. Neither did the activity require teachers to take time away from
other mathematical work.
The paper also briefly describes the students’ performance on this task and the implications for mathematics
teaching and learning.
Project number: 
CRP 24/03 FLH
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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