|Swapna Mukhopadhyay (USA)||email@example.com|
In a general sense, school mathematics is perceived to have alienated its students from their lived reality by emphasizing decontextualized exercises on procedural knowledge. As a result it is not uncommon to come across individuals who are computationally proficient but lack the sense of using mathematics as a cognitive tool for sense making. For teaching mathematics in general and data handling in particular, I will argue that mathematics could and should be taught as a dynamic and powerful tool that connects to everyday sense making. Using data that are easily available via the Internet, this paper will describe how examples of socially sensitive and important issues such as gun violence, land mines, etc. could be brought to the forefront of rich classroom discourse. By adopting this approach I will emphasize how the learner may be empowered to make informed, democratic decisions, an essential purpose of all education.
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