New math curriculum coming this September will focus on real-life applications: Lecce

The province has revealed its new math curriculum for grade 9 students, merging academic and applied streams with a focus on coding and financial literacy. David Zura has the details, and reaction from Ontario's high school teachers' union.

By Richard Southern

Ontario announced a new math curriculum that will be rolled out to Grade 9 students this September, one that replaces the applied and academic math streams and teaches students more real-life applications for math.

All students in Grades 1-9 will now learn the same math course and Education Ministry officials say it will be one that makes arithmetic more relevant to everyday scenarios such as learning to plan a budget, how down payments work and learning about the movement of the stock market.

Officials say, for example, when students are being taught about graphs, they will then learn to apply that to reading a cell phone plan. When learning about motion it will be applied to the movement of planes and skateboards, and data lessons may be applied to sports statistics.

Computer coding will also be mandatory and students will learn about the cultural origins of mathematics.

Last July Premier Doug Ford announced his government’s plan to phase out Grade 9 academic streaming starting this fall.

Critics argued that the streaming process disproportionately impacted racialized and low-income students. Ontario is the only province that divides students as they enter high school into the applied stream or academic track.

Ministry officials say lessons for educators on how to teach the new curriculum will begin immediately and will continue into the coming school year.

Officials say no decision has yet been made about what will happen to the Grade 10 math curriculum.

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