Research-based guidance and classroom activities for teachers of mathematics

Risk

Risk is a theme within reasoning about uncertainty. Links to relevant activities and resources are on the right hand side of this page. 

In most situations drawn from the everyday world of students, probability must be seen as a subjective measure of likelihood, and in this sense it is a tool for modelling uncertain situations. Betting and gaming is the exception in that it offers a meaningful context in which probability might not be seen as subjective.

Adolescents are often curious to explore moral and ethical issues, and to model such areas mathematically often demands the use of probability. A clear case is in the use of risk. Although risk is not a well-defined concept, it certainly involves chance and harm, and risk-based decision-making can provide a motivational context for subjective probability.