'Maths for everyone'
In recent years I've come to see maths at school as having two main jobs:
1) Ensure all students feel confident about their mathematical ability so that it becomes a part of a learning toolbox that they feel able and content to draw upon in everyday life - at home, at work, and everywhere in between.
2) Ensure that all students have opportunities to enjoy maths in ways that may, ultimately, lead them into mathematically rich professions.
This isn't about making sure that every student falls in love with maths to the degree that they pursue STEM careers. It's about ensuring sufficient opportunities for every learner to understand what maths is - what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like so that mathematically rich careers are made accessible to all.
It's about ensuring that learners develop the perceptions and skills required to learn the maths needed for interesting profession that exist, jobs that need people with strong levels of mathematical confidence and capability. It's something we need to see happen.
A 'maths for everyone' campaign
So how do we make this happen? The idea that maths is for everyone; that it's an open and creative that, taught in certain ways, is accessible to all..... I've only been familiar with these ideas myself since 2017. And I only became familiar with them because I happened to be on a school visit on an international trip and happened to see a maths class in action using pedagogies I'd never seen before.
Talk about powerful ideas stuck in a bubble.
Since then I've dedicated my working life to learning more about what it means to learn mathematics, and sharing what I discover with others who also enjoy finding and implementing these ideas.
That school visit was the seed the sparked my own, personal maths recovery. As someone who identifies as formerly maths-anxious (since discovering that this exists, and what it is!), I've become pretty heavily invested in a mission to dispel damaging maths myths at scale and helping others see their mathematical potential playful maths interactions and experiences.
This year, Maths for everyone is the International Day of Mathematics theme.