The goal of the Mathematics department at Boys’ Latin is to prepare each student for success in college-level courses. We require that every student understand how to use mathematics to describe real-world phenomena and test and communicate their findings. We also encourage motivated students to explore the abstract world of mathematics for its own sake.
We believe in balancing students’ need for strong basic skills with problem solving and critical thinking, and we are committed to the pursuit of the latter on the foundation of the former. As such, we see the following tenets as fundamental to our curriculum:
Elementary numeracy and the algebraic and geometric properties taught in middle school are foundational to success in high school courses.
Algebra is important as a modeling and problem-solving tool, with sufficient emphasis placed on technical facility to allow conceptual understanding.
Geometry in two and three dimensions must be integrated across topics at all levels and include measurement.
The study of counting, data analysis, and other topics from discrete mathematics must be woven into the core courses and supplemented by the additional courses.
Developing problem-solving and test-taking strategies depends on an accumulated body of knowledge.
Computer- and calculator-based activities be part of our courses.
A strong secondary foundation is more important than the breadth of courses taken.
Our intention is to have students assume responsibility for the mathematics they explore – to understand theorems that are developed; to be able to use tools and techniques appropriately; to know how to test results for reasonability; to learn to use technology appropriately; and to welcome new challenges whose outcomes are unknown. The goal is that students become self-sufficient in their learning and problem solving, able to access prior knowledge and appropriate resources in the pursuit of knowledge.