Integrating mathematics into science: design, development and evaluation of a curriculum model

Walshe, Gráinne, Johnston, Jennifer and McClelland, George (2015) Integrating mathematics into science: design, development and evaluation of a curriculum model. In: European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), 31 August - 4 September 2015, Helsinki, Finland.

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Abstract

Science and mathematics integration has long been recommended as a way to increase student conceptual understanding of, interest in, and motivation to learn both subjects. Recent interest in STEM education has also lead to calls for increased integration of these areas in order to provide students with the critical tools they need to deal with the multi-faceted and complex problems of sustainability that they will face as citizens. However, attempts to develop a model to integrate just two of the STEM subjects, that is, science and mathematics, have not resulted in a consensus regarding optimal curricular organisation. This research therefore has designed and developed a CISA (Critical Integrated Skills and Activities) Model for assisting teachers to integrate mathematics into science. The theoretical premise of the model is that the science curriculum should preserve its disciplinary structures, while acknowledging its interdependencies on the other disciplines, in order to best assist students to adapt and transfer their knowledge for now-unknown future needs. This paper reports on the design and development of exemplary curriculum materials based on an integrated conceptual framework, and their subsequent formative evaluation by subject matter experts and by teachers. The outcome is a set of design principles for the development of integrated mathematics into science materials. However, although the CISA Model offers a practical, systematic and coherent approach to integration of mathematics into science, its adoption may be constrained by attitudinal, contextual and affective factors. This study suggests that curricular models also need to take account of the subject subculture, school structure and teacher subject identity issues that impact on the curricular choices that teachers make.

Keywords:integration, mathematics, science, second level education
Subjects:X Education > X330 Academic studies in Secondary Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
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ID Code:19429
Deposited On:31 Oct 2015 17:10

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