A TOY: A TOOL FOR CONECTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS
La Salle-Buen Consejo (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:We present the results of a research done with fifty students in grade 8 in order to investigate if the construction of a toy helps to connect science and mathematics.
Both subjects are taught in an interdisciplinary global manner where the projects, as the construction of a toy, are understood as authentic activities that might promote the development of key competences. The connection between both subjects, science and mathematics, is understood from a competence point of view, and require students to demonstrate, on the one hand, scientific and mathematic knowledge and cognitive abilities, and in the other hand, attitudes, values and motivations that they meet and respond to the science and mathematical issues related to the construction of a toy.
These principles are the basis of the framework of investigation proposed in this paper. A framework developed for PISA 2009 assessment of the competence of identify scientific issues, explain phenomena scientifically and modelling mathematically competence cluster.
This framework gives a first theoretical approximation to the question of investigation proposed in this paper, and lets the construction of a system of categories about the interrelation of the scientific and mathematic competence.
• Does the construction of a toy help to develop the competence of modelling mathematically?
• Which is the relationship between this competence and the identification of scientific issues, and the explanation of phenomena scientifically?
Students were asked to construct a toy using only recycled materials, with the aim of understanding the meaning of Reusing, Recycling and Reduce. They were asked to construct any toy that they wished, and write a report about the process, materials and utility of the toy constructed.
Five of the fifty students were selected randomly in order to investigate about their development of the scientific competence and mathematical one. The methodology of investigation used in this research was qualitative, using as a tools the toy developed, the report done by the students, the planning documents done by the teacher, the classroom diary of the teacher, and a semi-structured interview.
The content of the students’ report and of the interviews was analysed and classified with the system of categories developed based in the competency clusters of PISA 2009 assessment framework.
Here in this paper we present the results corresponding to both questions planned in this investigation. In relation with the first question we describe how this five students of the sample connect mathematics and science knowledge and abilities through the construction of the toy. For the second question, there are described the levels of acquisition of the scientific competence and the modelling competence for each student, and the relationship between the levels of developing of both competences.
Keywords: Mathematics, Science, Competences.