Major Adjustments! Ontario's New 9th Grade Math Curriculum Is Being Redesigned

By Ashley Chen

Sat., June 12, 2021 | reading time 5 minutes ⏰



On June 9, Ontario schools minister lecher announced a new math curriculum for grade 9. Students will be required to learn programming, data knowledge, mathematical modeling, with an emphasis on financial knowledge.


The new curriculum, part of the provincial government's four-year math strategy, aims to help all students develop skills, build confidence and succeed in their future lives. The new curriculum, which will be introduced in September, will require students to learn programming, data knowledge and mathematical modeling, with an emphasis on financial literacy.


For Grade 9 students, there will no longer be any distinction between "Applied" and "Academic" in the new curriculum. In the past, the provincial government divided students into different subjects, resulting in some students in a disadvantaged position. With the end of separation of subjects, all students will have the opportunity to apply for post-secondary education and training.


The overhaul of the curriculum, which emphasizes the application of knowledge to real life, responds to suggestions from employers and education experts, as well as to the needs of the new job market. At the same time, for the province's mathematics teaching, not only this adjustment range is huge, or the first adjustment since 2005.


The new course, dubbed MTH1W, will be open to all students and will focus on teaching important mathematical concepts and skills. The new curriculum will replace the Year 9 Mathematics curriculum, which was restructured in 2005, such as Applied (MFM1P), Academic (MPM1D), and the 2006 Transfer (MPM1H).

The new curriculum will be divided into seven areas:


Financial knowledge

Students will analyze various financial situations and explain how to apply mathematics; Study how interest rates and other factors affect buying behavior; Solve financial problems and learn how budgets vary from situation to situation.


Mathematical thinking and application

Students integrate what they learn with their life experience, different knowledge systems, and real life (e.g. work, employment). At the same time, students will continue to deepen their mathematical thinking skills.


Digital

Students will learn how to work with different arrays and learn how mathematics can be written in different ways, including powers with positive and negative exponents. Students will learn more about fractions, decimals, and integers, as well as knowledge and skills about percentages, rates, ratios, and proportion in order to relate to real life examples such as comparing price and food/water increases and decreases.


Algebra

Students will use algebraic expressions and equations and program to understand complex mathematics and make predictions. Students will also learn about linear and nonlinear relationships, make connections between expanding and contracting patterns, and solve rate-related problems to understand reality, such as pollution rates, how plants grow, how trains/planes/skateboards move, etc.


Data

Students will study the collection, use, and storage of data. The content includes how data is used to inform decisions. Students will also use their knowledge to analyze real-life situations, such as movement analysis, and study how animal migration patterns change. Students will also use mathematical models to answer questions of interest and make predictions, such as analyzing the impact of social media on the economy.


Geometry and surveying

Students will study geometric properties and their applications in real life, such as architecture, construction and design. Students will learn how different cultures develop and use units of measurement and measuring tools, study the relationships between cones, cylinders, pyramids and prisms, and use the knowledge of perimeter, area, surface area and volume to solve practical problems, such as how a community garden should be planned and packaging designed.


Social affective learning skills in mathematics

Students will explore social-emotional learning skills, such as identifying sources of stress or finding support measures to strengthen students' grit and thus help them solve maths problems.


Canada's youth unemployment rate is well above the G7 average. Too many young people are either unemployed, in jobs unrelated to their skills, or underemployed. That's why the provincial government has launched a new 9th grade math curriculum to show how math can be applied in real life, ensuring that the provincial curriculum reflects the life or work needs of today's young people. For example, the course will analyze how interest rate changes and other factors affect prices, leading to major purchasing changes.


The provincial government has drawn up a four-year math strategy, at a cost of $200 million, aimed at reversing a decade-long decline in the province's students' math skills. The new curriculum is the next step in the provincial government's plan. The content will be based on a new primary school math curriculum to be released in spring 2021.

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