A Rationale for the Junior-Senior Secondary Mathematics Curriculum 2.0


  • Glen Aikenhead University of Saskatchewan, College of Education




This paper proposes a rationale that supports a renewal of our predominantly 19th century curriculum for Grades 7–12, identified as Mathematics 1.0. It was originally established in the mid 1800s to prepare learners mostly from upper-class families to succeed in a post-industrial society. Today’s digital revolution has changed society remarkably, and the variety of learners has certainly broadened, but Mathematics 1.0 fundamentally remains the same Plato-based (Platonist) curriculum due to its social-political power, which is documented in the article. The major changes to society’s culture and the composition of learners have caused faults in Mathematics 1.0 (e.g., a relevance deficit). For the majority of learners, school mathematics has mostly become an obsolete, inequitable, and harmful rite-of-passage into adulthood, to varying degrees. A renewed curriculum, Mathematics 2.0, is rationalized and specific suggestions are offered. The minority of learners who successfully pursue mathematics to varying degrees would experience small changes in their new Mathematics 1.2.

Keywords: school mathematics, humanistic, curriculum differentiation, relevance