The Mission of Mathematics

In August I gave a talk at a professional development training for teachers at Regents School of Austin on integrating a Christian perspective into the teaching of mathematics. The mission statement of our school says (in part) that we are teach children to know, love, and cherish that which is true, good, and beautiful. My goal in my presentation was to tie in what I see as the mission of math education with the mission of our school. I outlined how math was beautiful and how math was true, but my real focus was on discussing how math is good. For a lot of students (many of whom are now teachers) their experience in a math classroom was by no means good. I believe for these people it can be easier to give intellectual assent to the fact that math is beautiful (Fibonacci sequences, golden ratios, etc.) and that math is true (2+2=4, am I right?), but what we need to grasp as distinctly Christian math educators is how deeply good mathematics is – that it is an inherently virtuous activity that can be undertaken by anyone.

Below you will find a video of the presentation as well as the PowerPoint slides. If you are interested in further reading, I shared some similar thoughts when I wrote about God, Math, and Order.

Enjoy.


mission math

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