Mathematics and Agricultural Education

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* RekenGroen (dutch)



  • Project in the Netherlands to support students and teachers in Agricultural Education (age group 15-16) by emphasizing the role of mathematical skills in practical (agricultural) situations.
  • Duration: 2011-2012
  • Product: teaching materials for age group 15-16 (including a teacher guide)
  • Language: Dutch


In the Netherlands extra attention is given to mathematical skills in secondary education in the years 2011-2014. This is caused by an extra investment (Ministry of Education), following criticism that students have insufficient skill levels in the areas mathematics and (mother tongue) language (Dutch). The Dutch students score well in international tests (PISA, TIMSS), but improvements are possible, and in 2010 a law was introduced that describes skill levels (at age 12, 16 and 18) for all students. In 2014 National Tests/Exams will be part of the curriculum.

From this background an initiative was started that pays attention to the combination of 'general skills' (in this case mathematical skills) and 'skills for the job' (agricultural education). The reason to make this combination is to prevent the situation that 'extra attention for mathematics' will lead to an isolated theoretical block of knowledge in the agricultural curriculum, that will give extra motivational problems for the students and didactical problems for the teachers.

'RekenGroen' (Green Mathematics) is an effort to combine both the mathematics content that comes from outside the curriculum and the mathematics that is already part of the curriculum. Teachers and student do not always recognize that they already work with mathematical knowledge and skills embedded in a practical agricultural context/problem.

Design principles

Staff members of the Freudenthal Institute created the materials, using realistic mathematics education as a starting point. Teachers from three agricultural schools involved used the materials in pilot settings, and the feedback was used to make the final version of the materials.


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