4. Jennifer Chang-Wathall
I love mathematics. I love manipulating equations and applying mathematics to problems in Biology and Chemistry. Jennifer Chang-Wathall loves mathematics too: so much so that she developed a revolutionary new way of teaching it!
As a Lecturer at the prestigious University of Hong Kong, Jennifer stands out as a woman who’s on a mission to improve how we teach mathematics forever.
Published in 2016, her pioneering book: Concept-Based Mathematics, achieves what few subject texts can: it connects the dots!
As a former mathematics teacher myself, I understand how easy it is to become topic-focused and super-concerned about getting my students to complete problem after problem until they finally ‘get it’. Lower down the school this approach can work to a limited extent, but for advanced students (such as IBDP learners) it’s important to relate mathematics to the ‘big picture’.
With Jennifer’s Concept-Based approach, students see how calculus can be applied to radioactive decay or how arithmetic and geometric progressions can be used to model the spread of disease. These cross-curricular and cross topic links within mathematics define a modern approach that encourages real deep-learning, exploration and thorough understanding.
It looks like Jennifer has found a good way to get students to truly love mathematics again!
In her day-to-day job of changing the world with her transformative mathematics pedagogy, Jennifer runs International Baccalaureate workshops and serves as a field representative for the IB. She also works as a consultant helping maths departments and schools transition to concept-based curricula and instruction. Her website can be found at www.jenniferwathall.com
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