TI-AIE: Developing creative thinking in mathematics: trigonometry

What this unit is about

Trigonometry plays a very important role in the Indian National Curriculum Framework (2005). It links concepts about shape and space with other mathematical ideas such as ratio, deduction and mathematical proof. It also provides an opportunity to link what is observed in real life with the world of the mathematics classroom.

Unfortunately, many students do not experience the richness, connections or creativity that trigonometry allows. Instead they often perceive it as another memory exercise where rules and formulae must be learnt ‘by rote’, along with methods for working out problems.

This unit aims to help you address these views by working on trigonometry in a playful and creative way, using the students’ mental thinking powers. The unit will show that if you make small changes to tasks, students will be able to learn more effectively. When students are allowed to make more choices and decisions themselves, they can enjoy trigonometry and feel empowered by their mathematics learning.

Pause for thought

  • Think about your classroom. What do your students think about learning trigonometry? How much do they enjoy it? Why do you think this is?
  • Think back to when you were learning trigonometry in school. What would you have liked to have been different in the way you were taught the subject (if anything)?

What you can learn in this unit