ERIC Number: EJ1181760
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Meaningful Statistics in Professional Practices as a Bridge between Mathematics and Science: An Evaluation of a Design Research Project
Dierdorp, Adri; Bakker, Arthur; van Maanen, Jan A.; Eijkelhof, Harrie M. C.
International Journal of STEM Education, v1 Article 9 2014
Background: Creating coherence between school subjects mathematics and science and making these school subjects meaningful are still topical challenges. This study investigates how students make meaningful connections between mathematics, statistics, science and applications when they engage in a specially developed unit that is based on professional practices in which mathematical, statistical and scientific knowledge are used. The central question is to what extent professional practices can serve as meaningful contexts for senior high school students (aged 16 to 17) to help them make connections between mathematics, statistics, science and professional practices. In order to answer this question, we focused on two sub-questions: (1) 'How meaningful do students find an instructional unit that is based on professional practices in which statistics plays a role?' and (2) 'To what extent are students able to show awareness of the connections between mathematics, statistics, science within the instructional unit and professional practices?' Results: Questionnaires on the opinions of 415 students (388 before and 27 after completing two chapters of the unit) on the educational strategy and student work are used to answer the central question. The analysis of responses to questionnaires shows that students consider an educational strategy based on authentic professional practices meaningful. These results are also confirmed by the findings in the analysis of the second sub-question. Conclusions: The results indicate that an educational strategy based on professional practices can help students make connections between mathematics, statistics, science and professional practices.
Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Statistics, Sciences, Interdisciplinary Approach, Mathematical Concepts, Scientific Concepts, High School Students, Correlation, Student Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Questionnaires, Relevance (Education), Foreign Countries, Regression (Statistics), Statistical Analysis, Pretests Posttests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands