The NRICH Approach To Probability

Jenny Gage, writing for NRICH, a math task design group based in Cambridge:

So what’s different about our approach:

  • We start from a problem, not from a technique.
  • The progression is from the empirical to the theoretical, with the formal aspects of the curriculum introduced through the problems.
  • We start each problem with an experiment (using eg. multi-link cubes, specially adapted dice, as well as counters, numbered dice and coins) so that in watching the data accumulate, then analysing it, students can gain a sense of what is happening before being asked to make predictions (which are so often totally ill-informed).

The rest of the description is just as good.

I’ve interacted with the NRICH group a number of times here in the UK. Their approach to math task design is as solid as they come. Be sure to check out their resources.

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Thanks for your kind words about NRICH! The probability stuff had its formal launch yesterday and can be found here. There are a couple of interactive apps with the problems, and more in the offing.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I was lucky enough to be taught by one of the founders of NRICH whilst at Uni in Cambridge and I use NRICH resources a lot in my teaching (and constantly recommend them to colleagues!)

    Very much looking forward to coming to see your talk next week Dan!

  2. NRICH is great. Just like Swan’s stuff. Bowland. Freudenthal. That’s why I think EU and US should collaborate more.