The Pandemic as a real life context for Inquiry Based Learning
Picture: Miroslava Chrienova, Pixabay
“Flatten the curve!” ”Will there be enough places for intensive care?” “How long will the lockdown last?” “Is it the right moment to loosen the restrictions?” “When will enough people be vaccinated to stop the pandemic?”
These and other questions arise during the pandemic right now. One key to answering these questions is mathematics. Mathematical literacy helps to understand many developments and connections of the pandemic. Also the pandemic has a high impact on the whole of society and especially on all students. Implementing tasks with pandemic context raises the intrinsic motivation of the students and leads to a better mathematical understanding.
Then there are the opinions of some people, who are demonstrating against the restrictions to contain the pandemic. This might show that some simply do not understand the scientific proceeding and do not have enough mathematical literacy to understand the pandemic. Trying to make mathematical predictions for the pandemic development and correct them or discard them, will help students to understand the scientific proceeding and gain mathematical literacy.
On one hand the crisis can help to understand mathematics and on the other hand mathematics can help to understand the crises. Considering this dynamic, the ICSE Team of Freiburg started a series of tasks that treats the latest developments of the pandemic. The translation of these tasks from German into English and a transition to an international context has started and we will now regularly post new tasks to our Mathematics and Corona Website.