Integrated Science and Mathematics

Designing, Developing and Evaluating a Model for Integrated Science and Mathematics at Lower Secondary-Level in Ireland

Abstract: Science and mathematics are closely related in the physical world, yet as school subjects they can be quite separate. Science and mathematics integration has been recommended as a way to increase student conceptual understanding of, interest in, and motivation to learn both subjects. Hence this research has been concerned with the design, development and evaluation of a model for science and mathematics integration. The model consists of a Syllabus Map of the overlapping content on the lower-secondary level (Junior Cycle) science and mathematics curricula, a Teaching and Learning Sequence for overlapping science and mathematics content and skills, and a series of Critical Integrated Skills Activities for science classrooms. Formative evaluation of the Syllabus Map, Integrated Sequence, and exemplary curriculum materials has been carried out with educational experts, principals and teachers in a design research approach. The outcome is a set of design principles for the development of integrated mathematics into science materials. The findings also indicate that while the model offers a practical and coherent approach to integration of mathematics into science, its adoption may be constrained by attitudinal, contextual and affective factors.

Researcher: Gráinne Walshe
Commencement date: December 2010
End date: Spring Semester 2015