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A conceptual framework for integrating mathematics and science in the secondary classroom

Abstract

This article presents a theoretical model for integrating mathematics and science in the secondary classroom. This model, Authentic Integration of Mathematics and Science (AIMS), promotes engagement with rich tasks which combine topics from mathematics and science to enable enhanced learning through structured inquiry, dialogue, and application of knowledge and skills from both subjects to relatable tasks. It is argued that this model will provide opportunities for students to retrieve previously learned material and explore key concepts from both disciplines in tandem, thereby strengthening retention and understanding. Application of this model should also support the enhancement of students’ problem-solving skills and the facilitation of meaningful applications of mathematics to other disciplines in a sustainable manner. Attempts to integrate mathematics and science in the classroom are widely recommended but often encounter barriers such as deficiencies in teacher knowledge of their non-specialist subject, the inflexible nature of school timetables, and a dearth of instructional materials, amongst other issues. Lesson study is proposed as an effective means for operationalising the AIMS model and providing a framework which accounts for these barriers and allows for consistent implementation in tandem with single-subject instruction.

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Correspondence to Páraic Treacy.

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Treacy, P. A conceptual framework for integrating mathematics and science in the secondary classroom. SN Soc Sci 1, 150 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43545-021-00166-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43545-021-00166-x

Keywords

  • Applications of mathematics
  • Integrated pedagogy
  • Rich tasks
  • Science inquiry
  • Transdisciplinary lessons