New math curriculum to focus on financial literacy and coding

The new Grade 9 math curriculum will put an emphasis on coding, data literacy, mathematical modelling, and financial literacy while ending the practice of streaming students.

“We are better preparing students with the life and job skills they require – with a focus on financial literacy, coding, and data literacy – to ensure Ontario students succeed,” said Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “With an emphasis on real-world applications for mathematics, this course will teach students valuable fundamentals that will give them a competitive advantage when they graduate. With new math-focused learning supports and a new curriculum, our government is taking the first step toward ending early streaming in Ontario, while promoting equal opportunities for all students.”

The Grade 9 math curriculum has not seen a major update since 2005.

“The overarching aim of this grade nine math curriculum is giving young people the ability to apply theory into their daily lives,” said Lecce.

Currently, all students must choose between an applied or academic math course when they enter Grade 9. This has put many students, particularly marginalized students, at a disadvantage. By ending this practice, the province says students will be able to pursue more post-secondary or training options in the future.

“Streaming had dire consequences for Black and Indigenous students. They were disproportionately streamed into applied math courses which in many cases limited their outcomes. What de-streaming does is remove the inequities that have marginalized Black students. Math is a fundamental skill that needs to include current trends that will benefit students upon graduation. This new curriculum includes a financial literacy component, coding and fundamental concepts that will provide students with a broader knowledge to secure a better future,” said Executive Director of the African Canadian Coalition Against Hate, Oppression and Racism (ANCHOR) Shernett Martin.

The new curriculum will be implemented in September 2021 in all publicly funded schools in Ontario. The Ministry of Education will be offering support to school boards, teachers, students and parents during the transition.  For a more in-depth look at the new curriculum, click here.

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