ERIC Number: EJ1063905
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
STEM Gives Meaning to Mathematics
Hefty, Lukas J.
Teaching Children Mathematics, v21 n7 p422-429 Mar 2015
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' (NCTM's) "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics" (2000) outlines fi ve Process Standards that are essential for developing deep understanding of mathematics: (1) Problem Solving; (2) Reasoning and Proof; (3) Communication; (4) Connections; and (5) Representation. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) include eight related Standards for Mathematical Practice (SMPs) (CCSSI 2010). Both standards documents articulate the notion that mathematics is more than just learning content knowledge--habits of mind are just as important as knowledge that is absorbed. How then can teachers help students see the importance of mathematics at the time that they are learning a new topic? This article describes how Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. Elementary School found one solution in the form of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education. Developed by the classroom teachers with the assistance of local university professors, integrated engineering units of study allow for the application of mathematics skills in real-world contexts, removing engagement barriers and enhancing the development of NCTM's five Process Standards and the Common Core's eight Standards for Mathematical Practice. The purpose for learning is evident with a coherent, integrated curriculum, freeing students to reason about complex problems, analyze multiple solutions, and communicate ideas and results. They develop habits of mind along with the necessary mathematics skills.
Descriptors: Mathematics Instruction, Problem Solving, Mathematical Logic, Validity, Communication Strategies, Academic Standards, STEM Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Relevance (Education), Core Curriculum, Elementary School Mathematics, Learning Activities, Elementary School Science, Scientific Concepts, Design, Engineering, Motion, Grade 4, Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 3, Grade 2, Grade 5
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nctm.org/publications/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 1; Grade 3; Grade 2; Grade 5; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida