Every year, Utrecht University in collaboration with Malmberg (educational publisher) and other institutes involved in mathematics education, organises the MathInquiryDay (‘Grote Rekendag’) for primary education in the Netherlands.
This MathInquiryDay is a day for all children from grades 1 to 8, devoted to mathematical literacy. It focuses on (promoting) inquiry-based learning where students are involved in working on a set of coherent challenging meaningful activities.
During the MathInquiryDay, children are challenged via assignments in order to learn to use their mathematical skills (Jonker et al., 2019). The MathInquiryDay is a powerful ‘add-on’ to the daily practice of mathematics education. During MathInquiryDay, children actively work together on problems that fit in with their daily lives and through these more open assignments, the aim is to show children that mathematics is fun and useful (Keijzer et al., 2009). This mathematical literacy approach fits into the broader competence of ‘scientific literacy’, absolutely necessary to be(come) a critical citizen.
On 29 March 2023, students from Dutch primary schools will again engage in challenging assignments, this time around the theme ‘Waste Games’, a MathInquiryDay in which our consumption behaviour is magnified when it comes to creating waste, but also reprocessing, reusing and reducing waste, e.g. more convenient/less packaging (inspired by the Most Project). The MathInquiryDay aims to contribute to a shared sense of responsibility for our environment, a careful attitude towards the environment and an understanding of one’s own contribution to (solving) the problem while doing the maths. In addition, many classes make something beautiful out of waste in a creative way and reuse waste in this way. For example, groups 1 and 2 will make an instrument out of waste.