Real world connections in high school mathematics curriculum and teaching
Sands, M. K.
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The effectiveness of real world connections (RWC) in teaching is well accepted in the mathematics education community, however, little research has attended how and why to use RWC in mathematics. Additionally, there is a perception that the use of these connections is utilized less than its potential in the Turkish high school mathematics curriculum. Many would argue that development of students’ basic mathematical skills and the use of these skills in solving real life problems appear to be among the primary purposes of mathematics education. It can be inferred that teaching mathematics in a real world context may have a valuable place for achieving these purposes of education. This study described the feasibility of the use of RWCs in mathematics lessons as perceived by the teachers and academics (experts, n=24). In other words, experts’ opinions about advantages, disadvantages and examples of RWCs suggested by the experts were reported, using the Delphi method in two rounds. In the first round, an open-ended questionnaire to explore the subject was sent to the participants and their answers were used to create a second round Likert scale to reach a consensus. Experts suggested that the use of RWCs in mathematics lessons improves students’ motivation and interest in mathematics, helps students gain a positive attitude to mathematics, raises awareness of occupational fields where mathematics is used, helps development of conceptual learning, and mathematical process skills. The results of this study can be of interest to curriculum developers, teachers and teacher educators.