Mathematics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in quantities, space, and time. Statistics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in data. These two disciplines are related but involve different ways of thinking and solving problems. Both equip ākonga with effective means for modelling, analysing, and interpreting the world in which they live.
Mathematicians and statisticians use symbols, graphs, displays, and diagrams to help them find and communicate patterns and relationships. They evaluate information to make informed decisions and create models to represent both real-life and hypothetical situations. These situations are drawn from a wide range of social, cultural, scientific, technological, environmental, and economic contexts.
The Learning Area's whakataukī is:
Kei hopu tōu ringa ki te aka tāepa, engari kia mau ki te aka matua.
Cling to the main vine, not the loose one.
This whakataukī comes from the pūrākau of Tāne's ascent to the heavens to collect te kete ngā mātauranga, or the baskets of knowledge. The main vine is strong and has secure foundations, whereas the loose vine can be buffeted by the wind, so anyone climbing it will not reach the top. The pūrākau helps to illustrate that knowledge, as in te kete ngā mātauranga, is a taonga, and to show the need for hard work and problem-solving to gain solid knowledge.