Mathematics is part of our global cultural heritage. Throughout the ages humankind has used and developed mathematics to systematise experiences, to describe and relationships in nature and society and to explore the universe. Throughout the ages humankind has used and developed mathematics to systematise experiences, to describe and relationships in nature and society and to explore the universe. Another source of inspiration for the development of the subject has been the joy people have felt when simply working with mathematics. The subject is part of many vital societal areas, including medicine, economy, technology, communication, energy management and construction. Solid competence in mathematics is thus a requirement for developing society. Active democracy requires citizens who are able to study, understand and critically assess quantitative information, statistical analyses and economic prognoses. Hence mathematical competence is required to understand and influence processes in society.
Solid competence in mathematics involves using problem-solving techniques and modelling to analyse and transform a problem into mathematic form, solve the problem and evaluate the validity of the solution. This also has linguistic aspects, such as reasoning, communicating converse about and applying reason to ideas. Aids and technologies are used in most mathematical activities. Being able to use and assess aids and technology and being able to recognise their limitations are important aspects of the subject. Competence in mathematics is an important tool for each individual, and the subject can form the basis for pursuing further education and for participation in working life and recreational activities. Mathematics is an underpinning of important elements of our cultural history and for the development of logical thinking. Thus the subject plays a key role in general education by influencing identity, thinking and understanding of oneself.
The subject of Mathematics contributes to developing the mathematical competence needed by society and each individual. To attain this, pupils must be allowed to work both theoretically and practically. The teaching must switch between explorative, playful, creative and problem-solving activities and training in skills. Mathematics shows its usefulness as a practical tool. In school activities, central ideas, forms, structures and relations in the subject are exploited. Pupils must be challenged to communicate using mathematics in its written, oral and digital forms. Both girls and boys must have the opportunity to gain rich experiences from the subject of Mathematics that create positive attitudes to and solid competence in the subject. In this way the foundation is laid for lifelong learning.
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