11 Female Teachers Who Changed the World by @RichardJARogers

4. Jennifer Chang-Wathall

Jennifer Wathall LinkedIn

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’.

Concept Based Mathematics

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!

Jennifer Wathall Website

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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About Richard Rogers 67 Articles
Richard James Rogers received both his bachelor's degree and his PGCE from Bangor University (Wales, UK). This was an excellent foundation for the steep learning curve that would follow as he pursued his career as a teacher of Science and Mathematics at UK state schools, and afterwards at elite international schools in Asia. His 14 years of full time teaching experience have seen him instruct IGCSE German, KS3 and 4 Science and Mathematics and three subjects at 'advanced level': Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics. He also went on to lead a team of students to win the Thailand Tournament of Minds Championship in 2012 and has been an active educational blogger, columnist and online pedagogical content editor since 2010. His debut book: 'The Quick Guide to Classroom Management: 45 Secrets That All High School Teachers Need to Know', was rated 9.5 out of 10 in a recent UKEdChat book review, and offers an overview of what, in his experience and research, works best when it comes to engaging your learners and being happy in your job as a high school teacher.

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