ERIC Number: EJ1021721
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
It's Not Maths; It's Science: Exploring Thinking Dispositions, Learning Thresholds and Mindfulness in Science Learning
Quinnell, R.; Thompson, R.; LeBard, R. J.
International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, v44 n6 p808-816 2013
Developing quantitative skills, or being academically numerate, is part of the curriculum agenda in science teaching and learning. For many of our students, being asked to "do maths" as part of "doing science" leads to disengagement from learning. Notions of "I can't do maths" speak of a rigidity of mind, a "standoff", forming a barrier to learning in science that needs to be addressed if we, as science educators, are to offer solutions to the so-called "maths problem" and to support students as they move from being novice to expert. Moving from novice to expert is complex and we lean on several theoretical frameworks (thinking dispositions, threshold concepts and mindfulness in learning) to characterize this pathway in science, with a focus on quantitative skills. Fluid thinking and application of numeracy skills are required to manipulate experimental data sets and are integral to our science practice; we need to stop students from seeing them as optional "maths" or "statistics" tasks within our discipline. Being explicit about the ways those in the discipline think, how quantitative data is processed, and allowing places for students to address their skills (including their confidence) offer some ways forward.
Descriptors: Mathematics Skills, Numeracy, College Science, Thinking Skills, Learner Engagement, Undergraduate Students, Learning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A