2019 Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia (MERGA) Conference

Elizabeth Quay by Samuel Wiki

42nd MERGA Conference 2019, Perth, 30 June – 4 July 2019

MERGA 2019

“Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Science (IMS) Learning in the Primary School”


Joanne Mulligan

Macquarie University

Russell Tytler

Deakin University

The Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Science (IMS) project* (https://imslearning.org/) is developing and investigating an approach to mathematics and science learning that implements learning sequences in which students’ invention and transformation of representational systems in the two subjects can support deeper learning in each. The guided inquiry pedagogy involves students in epistemic practices that approximate those in the discipline, such that concepts that sit at the intersection of the two disciplines (variation, sampling, symmetry, spatial reasoning) are approached from the distinct perspectives of each. The project is tracking students from Grades 1 to 5 from three school contexts longitudinally over 3 years to investigate conceptual and representational competence. Sequences include motion, ecology, astronomy, data modeling, graphing, variability, measurement and spatial reasoning. The presentation will include examples of the interdisciplinary approach, its affordances, and evidence of enhanced student learning.

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Research Team: Russell Tytler (Deakin University), Joanne Mulligan (Macquarie University), Peta White, Lihua Xu, Vaughan Prain, Chris Nielsen, Melinda Kirk, Chris Speldewinde, (Deakin University), Richard Lehrer, Leona Schauble, (Vanderbilt University)

*Australian Research Council Discovery Grant No. DP180102333 Enriching mathematics and science learning: an interdisciplinary approach.

Elizabeth Quay image: Samuel Wiki