2021 International Congress on Mathematical Education (ICME) Conference

ICME 14 2021 Shanghai, China



Accepted presentation and paper

Young students learning the mathematics of measurement through an interdisciplinary approach

Peta White1, Russell Tytler1, Joanne Mulligan2, Melinda Kirk1
1Deakin University, 2Macquarie University

There is increasing criticism of STEM activities as often trivialising mathematics as merely a computational tool. This chapter describes the situating of mathematics in an interdisciplinary setting where practices of measure (area and height), sampling, variation and data modeling are interwoven with science concepts in ways that mutually reinforce learning. We demonstrate the effect of consecutive learning sequences in ecology (Grade 1), then fast plant growth (Grade 2), through a pedagogy that involves students’ invention, comparison/evaluation, and refinement of mathematical representations, with strong teacher guidance. The sequences were followed by several classes and their teachers, across two schools, with video capture, lesson observations, and tracking students’ representations in pre- and post-tests and student work samples. Teachers and case study students, across two schools, were interviewed at the end of each sequence. These sequences, and the findings, have much to say about productive inquiry-based mathematics pedagogy, and about the circumstances under which interdisciplinary practice can lead to robust mathematical learning of measure.