All things biological

The integration necessary for education in the 21st Century

Geetha Iyer and Sundaram S

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This is the centenary year of Charles Darwin, whose classical theory of the Origin of Life is still hotly debated. But to understand or debate the statement “Species originated by means of natural selection, or through the preservation of the favoured races in the struggle for life” in all its entirety, mere English language will not suffice. We would have to take the assistance of the language of mathematics. “Mathematics?” “Yes, mathematics”. It is this conviction that forms the body of this article.

Biology and mathematics share a complementary relationship which is not easily visible. In school, these two subjects are seen as mutually incompatible, categorised at the two extremes of the learning spectrum. However, mathematics originated from our biology and several aspects of biology are better understood if seen from a mathematical perspective. The scope of this integration is far too vast to be covered in a short article and hence we confine to highlighting this relationship through select examples.

Dr Geetha Iyer, is a consultant with several schools for curriculum design as well as Science & Environment education. She was previously a teacher at the Rishi Valley School and then Head of Sahyadri School (KFI) near Pune. She can be reached at scopsowl@gmail.com.

S Sundaram is the Principal of K D Ambani Vidyamandir in Jamnagar. He started his career in education with the Rishi Valley School. He is deeply interested in enabling students to learn Mathematics and in education for the 21st century. He can be reached at sundaram48@yahoo.com.

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