Maths curriculum changes

Some new developments are underway in the IB Diploma Programme (DP) mathematics curriculum. We expect to be ready for educators to start teaching the new courses in 2019.

Developments in DP mathematics mean that it remains relevant and rigorous while addressing the needs of mathematics students from 2019 until 2028, at which point the next development cycle will complete and the succeeding new version of the course will be released. We believe the changes to DP mathematics offers more choice to a greater number of students as well as offering schools greater flexibility in the way they group students, schedule lessons and teach the skills and content.

Critical thinking

For employers and universities alike, critical thinking in mathematics is becoming an increasingly valued skill, especially as technology advances making some traditional skills redundant.

Critical thinking in the context of mathematical learning is the ability to recognise where the subject can be used, understand and synthesise technical documents, apply relevant mathematical approaches to familiar and unfamiliar situations, structure logical arguments, be risk aware, understand that technology and mathematics can go hand-in-hand, and interpret the meaning and relevance of solutions. These are all becoming increasingly important and sought-after skills.

How will DP mathematics address this in 2019?

DP mathematics will focus on developing the skills of analysis, abstraction and generalisation, risk awareness and statistical literacy, algorithmic thinking, modelling and inquiry. We also aim to meet the diverse needs, interests and motivations of all our students within the DP and the Career-related Programme (CP).

We have designed two mathematics subjects/routes that will each be offered at standard level (SL) and higher level (HL):

    1. Mathematics: Analysis and approaches course will be offered at both SL and HL. It is designed for students who enjoy developing their mathematics to become fluent in the construction of mathematical arguments and develop strong skills in mathematical thinking. They will explore real and abstract applications, sometimes with technology, and will enjoy the thrill of mathematical problem solving and generalization.
    2. Mathematics: Applications and interpretation course will be offered at both SL and HL for students who are interested in developing their mathematics for describing our world, modelling and solving practical problems using the power of technology. Students who take Mathematics: Applications and interpretation will be those who enjoy mathematics best when seen in a practical context.

Behind the scenes of the DP mathematics curriculum review

To learn more about these developments, and to find out what the IB community is saying about these changes, you can download our FAQ, and read our community blog post.