Deepening Our Roots: A Philosophical Approach to Teaching and Learning Polynomials

Dalton Cooper, Math, West Charlotte High School

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


Polynomial expressions are one of the largest and most important topics of North Carolina Math 3; however, in addition to being important for student outcomes in Math 3, they are foundational to higher math classes such as pre-calculus and AP Calculus. My unit takes advantage of polynomial functions as the ideal place to increase rigor of instruction and student discussion. By merit of being relatively well-behaved functions, factoring and solving polynomials, the fundamental theorem of algebra, and remainder theorem all loan themselves well to instruction through discovery and discussion. Using philosophy as a lens, my curriculum unit looks to increase student agency in noticing and naming structures with polynomial expressions and synthesizing these relationships to approach problems with multiple approaches as opposed to viewing the standards of the unit as unrelated problems.