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More or Less Equal?- Math

Secondary, Middle

Description

This global citizenship resource explores how unequal opportunities and poverty affect the lives of many young people in different parts of the world. It gives students the opportunity to think critically about the problems associated with differences in income and access to essential services and to focus on these issues in their own community. The activities effectively demonstrate the relevance of math in the world around them.  Students use real data from case studies to address a number of middle level and early high school math outcomes including include fractions, decimals, percentages, problem solving and data management.

With survey results collected through interviews with young people, parents and community representatives from different parts of the world, students apply data management tools to compare development indices among different countries. (GDP, average income, internet use and mobile phone use, access to water, life expectancy, infant mortality, poverty level, access to electricity, carbon dioxide emissions per capita, and education)  Gender inequality is also addressed in both a rural/urban and economic context.

The Think-Learn-Act Approach also gives young people the opportunity to learn about the UN Sustainability Goals, think critically about how to achieve them and to take action as responsible global citizens.

Activities and resources are meant to support teaching rather than guide it.

Measuring Inequality

After discussing what inequality means, students calculate the cumulative wealth of the world’s 80 richest people and use a palma-ratio to measure in-country inequality. They then  express a multiplicative ratio between the incomes of the richest ten percent of a country’s population and the poorest forty percent.

Measuring Development

After discussing what development means students compare the indicators for different countries, discuss why some countries are more developed than others and identify some different ways that development is measured. They use scatter plots to describe patterns and relationships between the different indicators.

In-country Gaps

Students examine their own daily activities and record how long they spend doing them. After discussing the value of a large sample size they use frequency distribution tables of young people’s time use in Ethiopia to calculate mean, median and mode values. The data is used to compare how time use in Ethiopia is affected by gender and place of residence (urban vs rural)

In-country Gaps 2

Students use equality terms to compare time use data between boys and girls living in urban and rural areas. After discussing ways of presenting data they construct pie charts to represent their own time use data and that for young people in Ethiopia, Vietnam, Peru and India.

Between Country Gaps

Students explore some development indicators in detail and then answer questions about a set of tabulated data for the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Peru, India and Vietnam. They consider different ways that data can expressed and then convert developmental indicators from percentages to fractions.

Changing Gaps Over Time

Students explore some ways in which access to water, sanitation and electricity in the four countries have developed over time and draw line graphs to represent these changes. They discuss factors that may have contributed to the change and make predictions about the future.

Reflecting and Sharing

Students reflect and evaluate their learning and understanding about the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality, using an evaluation wheel. They consider possible ways in which governments can make the world a fairer, more just place without poverty. They work in groups to discuss, plan, and carry out an activity to share their learning with others.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Interpreting trends and patterns in data
  • Inferring and explaining relationships
  • Critical and creative thinking strategies
  • Communicating data effectively using mathematical and statistical calculations and graphs
  • Using a variety of sources to gather information
  • Listening critically to others ideas, thoughts and points of view
  • Converting fractions, decimals and percentages to solve problems

Strengths

  • Excellent background information and detailed, relevant case studies
  • Specifically addresses math outcomes
  • Excellent Power Point slides with teacher notes
  • Encourages collaboration, critical thinking, and open-ended solutions
  • Data is up-to-date and well-organized and presented in tables and excel sheets
  • Effectively uses pictures and videos to build empathy and promote awareness of how inequality and poverty affects young people
  • Developmental Trump Card activity is interesting, and efficiently organizes and presents data
  • There are some suggestions for differentiation in some activities
  • Graphing and Learning Journey templates are provided
  • Strong links to other resources
  • Has a multi-disciplinary approach

Weaknesses

  • No rubrics provided for assessment
  • Reading levels may be challenging for some students

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource can be used as a cross-curricular unit for middle level and early high school students focusing on mathematics, geography and language arts. Certain lessons can also be pulled out to address specific math outcomes at different grade levels. As well, the education for global citizenship methodology, which is paramount in this resource, is appropriate for social studies or geography classes in promoting awareness to, and empathy for, current world problems.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
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        • Global Issues and Governance: Complex global problems require international cooperation to make difficult choices for the future.
        • Global Issues and Governance: Economic self-interest can be a significant cause of conflict among peoples and governments.
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        • Data from circle graphs can be used to illustrate proportion and to compare and interpret.
        • Decimals, fractions, and percents are used to represent and describe parts and wholes of numbers
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      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Analyzing data by determining averages is one way to make sense of large data sets and enables us to compare and interpret
        • Computational fluency and flexibility extend to operations with fractions
        • Number represents, describes, and compares the quantities of ratios, rates, and percents
    • Grade 9
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        • Analyzing the validity, reliability, and representation of data enables us to compare and interpret.
        • The principles and processes underlying operations with numbers apply equally to algebraic situations and can be described and analyzed
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        • Foundations of Mathematics and Pre-calculus: Representing and analyzing situations allows us to notice and wonder about relations.
        • Workplace Mathematics: Representing and analyzing data allows us to notice and wonder about relationships
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        • Number, Relations and Functions 10: Relations and Functions
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        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) Globalization & Sustainable Prosperity
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        • Knowledge and Employability: Number (Number Concepts and Number Operations
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        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) Globalization & Sustainable Prosperity
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        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
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        • Global Inequalities: Economic Development and Quality of Life
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        • Foundations of Mathematics (Applied) Linear Relations
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        • Mathematics 6 : Number
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    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Data from the results of an experiment can be used to predict the theoretical probability of an event and to compare and interpret
        • Mixed numbers and decimal numbers represent quantities that can be decomposed into parts and wholes
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Issues and Governance: Complex global problems require international cooperation to make difficult choices for the future.
        • Global Issues and Governance: Economic self-interest can be a significant cause of conflict among peoples and governments.
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Data from circle graphs can be used to illustrate proportion and to compare and interpret.
        • Decimals, fractions, and percents are used to represent and describe parts and wholes of numbers
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Analyzing data by determining averages is one way to make sense of large data sets and enables us to compare and interpret
        • Computational fluency and flexibility extend to operations with fractions
        • Number represents, describes, and compares the quantities of ratios, rates, and percents
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Analyzing the validity, reliability, and representation of data enables us to compare and interpret.
        • The principles and processes underlying operations with numbers apply equally to algebraic situations and can be described and analyzed
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Math
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Foundations of Mathematics and Pre-calculus: Representing and analyzing situations allows us to notice and wonder about relations.
        • Workplace Mathematics: Representing and analyzing data allows us to notice and wonder about relationships
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10: Skills and Processes of Social Sciences

Themes Addressed

  • Economics (2)

    • Corporate Social Responsibility
    • Poverty Reduction
  • Governance (1)

    • Government Regulations
  • Human Health & Environment (3)

    • Human Population Dynamics
    • Hunger and Malnutrition
    • Quality of Life
  • Human Rights (4)

    • Education
    • Gender Equality
    • Poverty
    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

Students interpret real-life data obtained through surveys, and reflect on authentic and detailed case studies. 

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

The resource highlights the interconnections of poverty, economic opportunity, climate change and access to clean drinking water.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

The data and case studies do highlight the complexity of theses real world problems. The activities also emphasize the complexity of finding solutions.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

Students are encouraged to plan action to bring awareness to the issues highlighted in the resource by sharing their knowledge with their peers and the community, pressuring government to take action and fundraising.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Satisfactory

The discussions which follow the interpretation of the data management activities will provide some opportunities for value clarification as do some guiding questions.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

Case studies, development trump cards and survey data encourage empathy and respect for young people living in poverty and dealing with inequalities in their everyday lives.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Satisfactory

Students are encouraged to compare their own daily activities,and living conditions with young people from other less -developed countries. This brings local focus and may encourage them to take on global citizen responsibilities.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

The past and present are described using detailed case studies and real life survey data. The future is seen as positive only if awareness is brought to these issues on a global scale, sustainable environmental choices are made in both the developed and developing world, and if governments start to implement policies to level playing fields.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

Students interpret data and reflect on case studies and are encouraged to suggest solutions for the problems that they see.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Very Good

Although primarily a math, social studies and geography resource, there are opportunities to address outcomes in language arts and science.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

Students are able to discover some answers on their own using a guided inquiry approach. 

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

There is a variety of activities used to portray and examine the lives of young people in developing countries. These include survey data tables, real life case studies, Power Point slides, and pictures and videos of real people in real situations. There is some differentiation suggested in a few of the activities.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

Learning takes place using real world data and authentic case studies.  It require3s an examination of the student's own daily living activities.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory

Some discussion questions are given and students must complete and answer some specific number and data management assignments as well. There are no rubrics provided to assess student work but some answer keys are provided.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory

The resource encourages students to delve deeper into issues that interest them. Links with additional information are provided to help with this.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.