In today's society there is an increasing demand for understanding how mathematics is relevant to everyday activities. As this demand for the application of mathematics increases teachers and curriculum writers are faced with providing real life examples of the connection between mathematics and daily real world phenomena. As a result more and different subject areas are introduced in the mathematics curriculum to create problem situations.
This unit will provide problems that are embodied in the content matter from the topic diseases. The history and the spread of diseases will be explored and the mathematical models that can be used to explain the spread of diseases will be discussed. The unit will also incorporate the new directions stated in the professional standard for teaching mathematics. These standards state that teachers should create an environment that fosters critical thinking, create worthwhile mathematical tasks, and provide the tool for enhancing discourse. To respond to these demands, the teacher needs to provide an atmosphere in which the student can develop mathematical proficiency, and in which the student is constantly encouraged to collaborate with others and also to be an independent learner.