Designing, developing and evaluating integrated STEM activities for junior science

Walshe, Gráinne, Johnston, Jennifer and McClelland, George (2014) Designing, developing and evaluating integrated STEM activities for junior science. In: Science and mathematics are closely related in the physical world, yet as school subjects they can be quite separate, even where they share overlapping content. Science and mathematics integration has been recommended as a way to increase student conceptu, 24-25 June 2014, Dublin, Ireland.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Science and mathematics are closely related in the physical world, yet as school subjects they can be quite separate, even where they share overlapping content. Science and mathematics integration has been recommended as a way to increase student conceptual understanding of, interest in, and motivation to learn both subject (Czerniak 2007). Moreover, STEM education (involving the purposeful integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is receiving increasing emphasis in Ireland and elsewhere (Breiner et al. 2012). In this research the STEM focus has been into the design and development and evaluation of a model that will permit teachers to assist students to transfer their mathematical knowledge and skills into Junior Science. This resulted in a CISA (Critical Integrated Skills and Activities) Model for developing context-appropriate integrated materials. The model consists of a Syllabus Map of the overlapping content on the Junior Cycle science and mathematics curricula, a Teaching and Learning Sequence for overlapping science and mathematics content and skills, a CISA lesson template for developing integrated lessons, and three exemplar CISA lesson packs. The Syllabus Map and Sequence were evaluated in an earlier stage of the research and one outcome was the need to provide flexibility in the Model so that teachers could adapt it to their local situation and to their students’ learning needs. Instead of prescribing the science and mathematics topics that should be integrated, teachers can use the Map, Sequence, lesson template and exemplar lessons to identify critical skills that they may adapt to activities suitable for their science teaching. This paper reports on the design of the CISA exemplar lessons, and of the subsequent evaluation of both the lessons and of the overarching CISA Model, by subject matter experts and by teachers.

Keywords:Integration, STEM, secondary education
Subjects:X Education > X330 Academic studies in Secondary Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:19431
Deposited On:31 Oct 2015 16:40

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