Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1715

Search results for: mathematics and science education

1715 Classifications of Neuroscientific-Radiological Findings on “Practicing” in Mathematics Learning

Authors: Felicitas Pielsticker, Christoph Pielsticker, Ingo Witzke

Abstract:

Many people know ‘Mathematics needs practice!’ statement or similar ones from their mathematics lessons. It seems important to practice when learning mathematics. At the same time, it also seems important to practice how to learn mathematics. This paper places neuroscientific-radiological findings on “practicing” while learning mathematics in a context of mathematics education. To accomplish this, we use a literature-based discussion of our case study on practice. We want to describe neuroscientific-radiological findings in the context of mathematics education and point out stimulating connections between both perspectives. From a connective perspective we expect incentives that lead discussions in future research in the field of mathematics education.

Keywords: fMRI, education, mathematics learning, practicing.

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1714 Development of Researcher Knowledge in Mathematics Education: Towards a Confluence Framework

Authors: I. Kontorovich, R. Zazkis

Abstract:

We present a framework of researcher knowledge development in conducting a study in mathematics education. The key components of the framework are: knowledge germane to conducting a particular study, processes of knowledge accumulation, and catalyzing filters that influence a researcher decision making. The components of the framework originated from a confluence between constructs and theories in Mathematics Education, Higher Education and Sociology. Drawing on a self-reflective interview with a leading researcher in mathematics education, Professor Michèle Artigue, we illustrate how the framework can be utilized in data analysis. Criteria for framework evaluation are discussed.

Keywords: Community of practice, knowledge development, mathematics education research, researcher knowledge.

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1713 The Wheel Garden: Project-Based Learning for Cross Curriculum Education

Authors: Sherry S. Herron, Douglas Magomo, Paula Gossard

Abstract:

In this article, we discuss project-based learning in the context of a wheel garden as an instructional tool in science and mathematics education. A wheel garden provides multiple opportunities to teach across the curriculum, to integrate disciplines, and to promote community involvement. Grounded in the theoretical framework of constructivism, the wheel garden provides a multidisciplined educational tool that provides a hands-on, non-traditional arena for learning. We will examine some of the cultural, art, science, and mathematics connections made with this project.

Keywords: Art education, cross-curriculum instruction, multicultural education, project-based learning, school gardens, task based learning.

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1712 Learning Undergraduate Mathematics in a Discovery-Enriched Approach

Authors: Kam-moon Liu, Kwok-chi Chim, Kwok-wai Chung, Daniel Wing-cheong Ho

Abstract:

Students often adopt routine practicing as learning strategy for mathematics. The reason is they are often bound and trained to solving conventional-typed questions in Mathematics in high school. This will be problematic if students further consolidate this practice in university. Therefore, the Department of Mathematics emphasized and integrated the Discovery-enriched approach in the undergraduate curriculum. This paper presents the details of implementing the Discovery-enriched Curriculum by providing adequate platform for project-learning, expertise for guidance and internship opportunities for students majoring in Mathematics. The Department also provided project-learning opportunities to mathematics courses targeted for students majoring in other science or engineering disciplines. The outcome is promising: the research ability and problem solving skills of students are enhanced.

Keywords: Discovery-enriched curriculum, higher education, mathematics education, project learning.

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1711 The Views of Elementary Mathematics Education Preservice Teachers on Proving

Authors: Belma Turker, Cigdem Alkas, Ebru Aylar, Ramazan Gurel, Oylum Akkus Ispir

Abstract:

This study has been prepared with the purpose to get the views of senior class Elementary Education Mathematics preservice teachers on proving. Data have been obtained via surveys and interviews carried out with 104 preservice teachers. According to the findings, although preservice teachers have positive views about using proving in mathematics teaching, it is seen that their experiences related to proving is limited to courses and they think proving is a work done only for the exams. Furthermore, they have expressed in the interviews that proving is difficult for them, and because of this reason they prefer memorizing instead of learning.

Keywords: Belief on Proving, Mathematics Education, Proof.

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1710 Sfard’s Commognitive Framework as a Method of Discourse Analysis in Mathematics

Authors: Dong-Joong Kim, Sangho Choi, Woong Lim

Abstract:

This paper discusses Sfard’s commognitive approach and provides an empirical study as an example to illustrate the theory as method. Traditionally, research in mathematics education focused on the acquisition of mathematical knowledge and the didactic process of knowledge transfer. Through attending to a distinctive form of language in mathematics, as well as mathematics as a discursive subject, alternative views of making meaning in mathematics have emerged; these views are therefore “critical,” as in critical discourse analysis. The commognitive discourse analysis method has the potential to bring more clarity to our understanding of students’ mathematical thinking and the process through which students are socialized into school mathematics.

Keywords: Commognitive framework, discourse analysis, mathematical discourse, mathematics education.

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1709 Integrating Technology into Mathematics Education: A Case Study from Primary Mathematics Students Teachers

Authors: Berna Cantürk-Günhan, Esra Bukova-Güzel

Abstract:

The purpose of the study is to determine the primary mathematics student teachers- views related to use instructional technology tools in course of the learning process and to reveal how the sample presentations towards different mathematical concepts affect their views. This is a qualitative study involving twelve mathematics students from a public university. The data gathered from two semi-structural interviews. The first one was realized in the beginning of the study. After that the representations prepared by the researchers were showed to the participants. These representations contain animations, Geometer-s Sketchpad activities, video-clips, spreadsheets, and power-point presentations. The last interview was realized at the end of these representations. The data from the interviews and content analyses were transcribed and read and reread to explore the major themes. Findings revealed that the views of the students changed in this process and they believed that the instructional technology tools should be used in their classroom.

Keywords: Integrating Technology, Mathematics Education, Primary Education, Teacher Education.

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1708 Students’ Views on Mathematics Learning: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Senior Secondary Schools Students in Katsina State of Nigeria

Authors: Fahad Suleiman

Abstract:

The aim of this paper is to study students’ view on mathematics learning in Katsina State Senior Secondary Schools of Nigeria, such as their conceptions of mathematics, attitudes toward mathematics learning, etc. A questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 1,225 senior secondary two (SS II) students of Katsina State in Nigeria. The data collected showed a clear picture of the hurdles that affect the teaching and learning of mathematics in our schools. Problems such as logistics and operational which include shortage of mathematics teachers, non–availability of a mathematics laboratory, etc. were identified. It also depicted the substantial trends of changing views and attitudes toward mathematics across secondary schools. Students’ responses to the conception of mathematics were consistent and they demonstrated some specific characteristics of their views in learning mathematics. This survey has provided useful information regarding students’ needs and aspirations in mathematics learning for curriculum planners and frontline teachers for future curriculum reform and implementation.

Keywords: Attitude, education, mathematics, students.

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1707 Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science Interface: Content Considerations for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education

Authors: Mpofu Vongai, Vhurumuku Elaosi

Abstract:

Many African countries, such as Zimbabwe and South Africa, have curricula reform agendas that include incorporation of Indigenous Knowledge and Nature of Science (NOS) into school Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. It is argued that at high school level, STEM learning, which incorporates understandings of indigenization science and NOS, has the potential to provide a strong foundation for a culturally embedded scientific knowledge essential for their advancement in Science and Technology. Globally, investment in STEM education is recognized as essential for economic development. For this reason, developing countries such as Zimbabwe and South Africa have been investing into training specialized teachers in natural sciences and technology. However, in many cases this training has been detached from the cultural realities and contexts of indigenous learners. For this reason, the STEM curricula reform has provided implementation challenges to teachers. An issue of major concern is the teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is essential for effective implementation of these STEM curricula. Well-developed Teacher PCK include an understanding of both the nature of indigenous knowledge (NOIK) and of NOS. This paper reports the results of a study that investigated the development of 3 South African and 3 Zimbabwean in-service teachers’ abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK as part of their PCK. A participatory action research design was utilized. The main focus was on capturing, determining and developing teachers STEM knowledge for integrating NOIK and NOS in science classrooms. Their use of indigenous games was used to determine how their subject knowledge for STEM and pedagogical abilities could be developed. Qualitative data were gathered through the use dialogues between the researchers and the in-service teachers, as well as interviewing the participating teachers. Analysis of the data provides a methodological window through which in-service teachers’ PCK can be STEMITIZED and their abilities to integrate NOS and NOIK developed. Implications are raised for developing teachers’ STEM education in universities and teacher training colleges.

Keywords: Indigenous knowledge, nature of science, pedagogical content knowledge, STEM education.

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1706 The Development of Student Core Competencies through the STEM Education Opportunities in Classroom

Authors: Z. Dedovets, M. Rodionov

Abstract:

The goal of the modern education system is to prepare students to be able to adapt to ever-changing life situations. They must be able to acquire required knowledge independently; apply such knowledge in practice to solve various problems by using modern technologies; think critically and creatively; competently use information; be communicative, work in a team; and develop their own moral values, intellect and cultural awareness. As a result, the status of education significantly increases; new requirements to its quality have been formed. In recent years the competency-based approach in education has become of significant interest. This approach is a strengthening of applied and practical characteristics of a school education and leads to the forming of the key students’ competencies which define their success in future life. In this article, the authors’ attention focuses on a range of key competencies, educational, informational and communicative and on the possibility to develop such competencies via STEM education. This research shows the change in students’ attitude towards scientific disciplines such as mathematics, general science, technology and engineering as a result of STEM education. Two staged analyzed questionnaires completed by students of forms II to IV in the republic of Trinidad and Tobago allowed the authors to categorize students between two levels that represent students’ attitude to various disciplines. The significance of differences between selected levels was confirmed with the use of Pearson’s chi-squared test. In summary, the analysis of obtained data makes it possible to conclude that STEM education has a great potential for development of core students’ competencies and encourage the development of positive student attitude towards the above mentioned above scientific disciplines.

Keywords: STEM-science, technology, engineering, mathematics, students’ competency, Pearson's chi-squared test.

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1705 Multivariate Assessment of Mathematics Test Scores of Students in Qatar

Authors: Ali Rashash Alzahrani, Elizabeth Stojanovski

Abstract:

Data on various aspects of education are collected at the institutional and government level regularly. In Australia, for example, students at various levels of schooling undertake examinations in numeracy and literacy as part of NAPLAN testing, enabling longitudinal assessment of such data as well as comparisons between schools and states within Australia. Another source of educational data collected internationally is via the PISA study which collects data from several countries when students are approximately 15 years of age and enables comparisons in the performance of science, mathematics and English between countries as well as ranking of countries based on performance in these standardised tests. As well as student and school outcomes based on the tests taken as part of the PISA study, there is a wealth of other data collected in the study including parental demographics data and data related to teaching strategies used by educators. Overall, an abundance of educational data is available which has the potential to be used to help improve educational attainment and teaching of content in order to improve learning outcomes. A multivariate assessment of such data enables multiple variables to be considered simultaneously and will be used in the present study to help develop profiles of students based on performance in mathematics using data obtained from the PISA study.

Keywords: Cluster analysis, education, mathematics, profiles.

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1704 Students Perceptions on the Relevance of High School Mathematics in University Education in South Africa

Authors: Gilbert Makanda, Roelf Sypkens

Abstract:

In this study we investigated the relevance of high school mathematics in university education. The paper particularly focused on whether the concepts taught in high school are enough for engineering courses at diploma level. The study identified particular concepts that are required in engineering courses whether they were adequately covered in high school. A questionnaire was used to investigate whether relevant topics were covered in high school. The respondents were 228 first year students at the Central University of Technology in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology. The study indicates that there are some topics such as integration, complex numbers and matrices that are not done at high schools and are required in engineering courses at university. It is further observed that some students did not cover the topics that are in the current syllabus. Female students enter the university less prepared than their male counterparts. More than 30% of the respondents in this study felt that high school mathematics was not useful for them to be able to do engineering courses.

Keywords: High school mathematics, university education, SPSS package, students’ perceptions.

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1703 Enhancing Teaching of Engineering Mathematics

Authors: Tajinder Pal Singh

Abstract:

Teaching of mathematics to engineering students is an open ended problem in education. The main goal of mathematics learning for engineering students is the ability of applying a wide range of mathematical techniques and skills in their engineering classes and later in their professional work. Most of the undergraduate engineering students and faculties feels that no efforts and attempts are made to demonstrate the applicability of various topics of mathematics that are taught thus making mathematics unavoidable for some engineering faculty and their students. The lack of understanding of concepts in engineering mathematics may hinder the understanding of other concepts or even subjects. However, for most undergraduate engineering students, mathematics is one of the most difficult courses in their field of study. Most of the engineering students never understood mathematics or they never liked it because it was too abstract for them and they could never relate to it. A right balance of application and concept based teaching can only fulfill the objectives of teaching mathematics to engineering students. It will surely improve and enhance their problem solving and creative thinking skills. In this paper, some practical (informal) ways of making mathematics-teaching application based for the engineering students is discussed. An attempt is made to understand the present state of teaching mathematics in engineering colleges. The weaknesses and strengths of the current teaching approach are elaborated. Some of the causes of unpopularity of mathematics subject are analyzed and a few pragmatic suggestions have been made. Faculty in mathematics courses should spend more time discussing the applications as well as the conceptual underpinnings rather than focus solely on strategies and techniques to solve problems. They should also introduce more ‘word’ problems as these problems are commonly encountered in engineering courses. Overspecialization in engineering education should not occur at the expense of (or by diluting) mathematics and basic sciences. The role of engineering education is to provide the fundamental (basic) knowledge and to teach the students simple methodology of self-learning and self-development. All these issues would be better addressed if mathematics and engineering faculty join hands together to plan and design the learning experiences for the students who take their classes. When faculties stop competing against each other and start competing against the situation, they will perform better. Without creating any administrative hassles these suggestions can be used by any young inexperienced faculty of mathematics to inspire engineering students to learn engineering mathematics effectively.

Keywords: Application based learning, conceptual learning, engineering mathematics, word problem.

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1702 Using SMS Mobile Technology to Assess the Mastery of Subject Content Knowledge of Science and Mathematics Teachers of Secondary Schools in Tanzania

Authors: Joel S. Mtebe, Aron Kondoro, Mussa M. Kissaka, Elia Kibga

Abstract:

Sub-Saharan Africa is described as the second fastest growing in mobile phone penetration in the world more than in the United States or the European Union. Mobile phones have been used to provide a lot of opportunities to improve people’s lives in the region such as in banking, marketing, entertainment, and paying for various bills such as water, TV, and electricity. However, the potential of mobile phones to enhance teaching and learning has not been explored. This study presents an experience of developing and delivering SMS based quiz questions used to assess mastery of subject content knowledge of science and mathematics secondary school teachers in Tanzania. The SMS quizzes were used as a follow up support mechanism to 500 teachers who participated in a project to upgrade subject content knowledge of teachers in science and mathematics subjects in Tanzania. Quizzes of 10-15 questions were sent to teachers each week for 8 weeks and the results were analyzed using SPSS. Results show that teachers who participated in chemistry and biology subjects have better performance compared to those who participated in mathematics and physics subjects. Teachers reported some challenges that led to poor performance, This research has several practical implications for those who are implementing or planning to use mobile phones in teaching and learning especially in rural secondary schools in sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords: Mobile learning, e-learning, educational technologies, SMS, secondary education, assessment.

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1701 The Use of Webquests in Developing Inquiry Based Learning: Views of Teachers and Students in Qatar

Authors: Abdullah Abu-Tineh, Carol Murphy, Nigel Calder, Nasser Mansour

Abstract:

This paper reports on an aspect of e-learning in developing inquiry-based learning (IBL). We present data on the views of teachers and students in Qatar following a professional development programme intended to help teachers implement IBL in their science and mathematics classrooms. Key to this programme was the use of WebQuests. Views of the teachers and students suggested that WebQuests helped students to develop technical skills, work collaboratively and become independent in their learning. The use of WebQuests also enabled a combination of digital and non-digital tools that helped students connect ideas and enhance their understanding of topics.

Keywords: Digital technology, inquiry-based learning, mathematics and science education, professional development.

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1700 Do Students Really Understand Topology in the Lesson? A Case Study

Authors: Serkan Narli

Abstract:

This study aims to specify to what extent students understand topology during the lesson and to determine possible misconceptions. 14 teacher trainees registered at Secondary School Mathematics education department were observed in the topology lessons throughout a semester and data collected at the first topology lesson is presented here. Students- knowledge was evaluated using a written test right before and after the topology lesson. Thus, what the students learnt in terms of the definition and examples of topologic space were specified as well as possible misconceptions. The findings indicated that students did not fully comprehend the topic and misunderstandings were due to insufficient pre-requisite knowledge of abstract mathematical topics and mathematical notation.

Keywords: Mathematics Education, Teacher Education, Topology.

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1699 The Influence of Interest, Beliefs, and Identity with Mathematics on Achievement

Authors: Asma Alzahrani, Elizabeth Stojanovski

Abstract:

This study investigated factors that influence mathematics achievement based on a sample of ninth-grade students (N  =  21,444) from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS09). Key aspects studied included efficacy in mathematics, interest and enjoyment of mathematics, identity with mathematics and future utility beliefs and how these influence mathematics achievement. The predictability of mathematics achievement based on these factors was assessed using correlation coefficients and multiple linear regression. Spearman rank correlations and multiple regression analyses indicated positive and statistically significant relationships between the explanatory variables: mathematics efficacy, identity with mathematics, interest in and future utility beliefs with the response variable, achievement in mathematics.

Keywords: Mathematics achievement, math efficacy, mathematics interest, identity.

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1698 Prospective Mathematics Teachers' Views about Using Flash Animations in Mathematics Lessons

Authors: Esra Bukova-Güzel, Berna Cantürk-Günhan

Abstract:

The purpose of the study is to determine secondary prospective mathematics teachers- views related to using flash animations in mathematics lessons and to reveal how the sample presentations towards different mathematical concepts altered their views. This is a case study involving three secondary prospective mathematics teachers from a state university in Turkey. The data gathered from two semi-structural interviews. Findings revealed that these animations help understand mathematics meaningfully, relate mathematics and real world, visualization, and comprehend the importance of mathematics. The analysis of the data indicated that the sample presentations enhanced participants- views about using flash animations in mathematics lessons.

Keywords: Instructional technology, animations, prospective mathematics teachers.

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1697 The Competence of Solving Mathematical Problems in the Formation of Ethical Values

Authors: Veronica Diaz Quezada

Abstract:

A study and its preliminary results are presented. The research is descriptive and exploratory and it is still in process. Its objective is to develop an assessment method in the field of fostering values using competence mathematics problem solving. This is part of a more extensive research that aims at contributing to educational integration in Latin America, particularly to the development of proposals to link education for citizenship and the mathematics lessons. This is being carried out by research teams of University of Barcelona-España; University Nacional of Costa Rica; University Autónoma of Querétaro-México; Pontificia University Católica of Perú, University Nacional of Villa María- Argentina and University of Los Lagos-Chile, in the context of Andrés Bello Chair for the Association of Latin American Universities. This research was developed and implemented in Chile in 2016, using mixed research methods. It included interviews and a problem-solving math test with ethical values that was administered to students of the secondary education of the regions of Los Ríos and of the Lakes of Chile. The results show the lack of integration between the teaching of values and science discipline.

Keywords: Citizenship, ethical values, mathematics, secondary school, solving problem.

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1696 Gender Differences of Elementary Prospective Teachers in Mathematical Beliefs and Mathematics Teaching Anxiety

Authors: Ersen Yazıcı, Erhan Ertekin

Abstract:

In this study, any possible differences between mathematics beliefs and anxiety of prospective elementary mathematics teachers have been investigated according to their gender. In this purpose, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students from a Government University in Turkey were selected as a sample. Mathematics Teaching Anxiety Scale (MATAS) and Beliefs About Mathematics Survey (BAMS) has been used as data collection tools. As a result of the study, it has been observed that prospective male teachers have more instrumentalist approach in learning mathematics than females according to their mathematical beliefs. On the other hand, females have more mathematics teaching anxiety than males especially, for subject knowledge in mathematics and selfconfidence.

Keywords: Mathematical beliefs, mathematics teaching anxiety, gender, prospective elementary mathematics teachers.

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1695 Effects of Video Games and Online Chat on Mathematics Performance in High School: An Approach of Multivariate Data Analysis

Authors: Lina Wu, Wenyi Lu, Ye Li

Abstract:

Regarding heavy video game players for boys and super online chat lovers for girls as a symbolic phrase in the current adolescent culture, this project of data analysis verifies the displacement effect on deteriorating mathematics performance. To evaluate correlation or regression coefficients between a factor of playing video games or chatting online and mathematics performance compared with other factors, we use multivariate analysis technique and take gender difference into account. We find the most important reason for the negative sign of the displacement effect on mathematics performance due to students’ poor academic background. Statistical analysis methods in this project could be applied to study internet users’ academic performance from the high school education to the college education.

Keywords: Correlation coefficients, displacement effect, gender difference, multivariate analysis technique, regression coefficients.

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1694 The Role of Creative Thinking in Science Education

Authors: Jindriska Svobodova, Jan Novotny

Abstract:

A teacher’s attitude to creativity plays an essential role in the thinking development of his/her students. The purpose of this study is to understand if a science teacher's personal creativity can modify his/her ability to produce various kinds of questions. This research used an education activity based on cosmic sketches and pictures by K.E. Tsiolkovsky, the founder of astronautics, to explore if any relationship between individual creativity and the asking questions skill exists. As a screening instrument, which allows an assessment of the respondent's creative potential, a common test of creative thinking was used. The results of the creativity test and the diversity of the questions are mentioned.

Keywords: Science education, active learning, physics teaching, creativity.

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1693 Motivational Orientation of the Methodical System of Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Schools

Authors: M. Rodionov, Z. Dedovets

Abstract:

The article analyses the composition and structure of the motivationally oriented methodological system of teaching mathematics (purpose, content, methods, forms, and means of teaching), viewed through the prism of the student as the subject of the learning process. Particular attention is paid to the problem of methods of teaching mathematics, which are represented in the form of an ordered triad of attributes corresponding to the selected characteristics. A systematic analysis of possible options and their methodological interpretation enriched existing ideas about known methods and technologies of training, and significantly expanded their nomenclature by including previously unstudied combinations of characteristics. In addition, examples outlined in this article illustrate the possibilities of enhancing the motivational capacity of a particular method or technology in the real learning practice of teaching mathematics through more free goal-setting and varying the conditions of the problem situations. The authors recommend the implementation of different strategies according to their characteristics in teaching and learning mathematics in secondary schools.

Keywords: Education, methodological system, teaching of mathematics, teachers, lesson, students motivation, secondary school.

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1692 Metal Ship and Robotic Car: A Hands-On Activity to Develop Scientific and Engineering Skills for High School Students

Authors: Jutharat Sunprasert, Ekapong Hirunsirisawat, Narongrit Waraporn, Somporn Peansukmanee

Abstract:

Metal Ship and Robotic Car is one of the hands-on activities in the course, the Fundamental of Engineering that can be divided into three parts. The first part, the metal ships, was made by using engineering drawings, physics and mathematics knowledge. The second part is where the students learned how to construct a robotic car and control it using computer programming. In the last part, the students had to combine the workings of these two objects in the final testing. This aim of study was to investigate the effectiveness of hands-on activity by integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts to develop scientific and engineering skills. The results showed that the majority of students felt this hands-on activity lead to an increased confidence level in the integration of STEM. Moreover, 48% of all students engaged well with the STEM concepts. Students could obtain the knowledge of STEM through hands-on activities with the topics science and mathematics, engineering drawing, engineering workshop and computer programming; most students agree and strongly agree with this learning process. This indicated that the hands-on activity: “Metal Ship and Robotic Car” is a useful tool to integrate each aspect of STEM. Furthermore, hands-on activities positively influence a student’s interest which leads to increased learning achievement and also in developing scientific and engineering skills.

Keywords: Hands-on activity, STEM education, computer programming, metal work.

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1691 Emotion Classification for Students with Autism in Mathematics E-learning using Physiological and Facial Expression Measures

Authors: Hui-Chuan Chu, Min-Ju Liao, Wei-Kai Cheng, William Wei-Jen Tsai, Yuh-Min Chen

Abstract:

Avoiding learning failures in mathematics e-learning environments caused by emotional problems in students with autism has become an important topic for combining of special education with information and communications technology. This study presents an adaptive emotional adjustment model in mathematics e-learning for students with autism, emphasizing the lack of emotional perception in mathematics e-learning systems. In addition, an emotion classification for students with autism was developed by inducing emotions in mathematical learning environments to record changes in the physiological signals and facial expressions of students. Using these methods, 58 emotional features were obtained. These features were then processed using one-way ANOVA and information gain (IG). After reducing the feature dimension, methods of support vector machines (SVM), k-nearest neighbors (KNN), and classification and regression trees (CART) were used to classify four emotional categories: baseline, happy, angry, and anxious. After testing and comparisons, in a situation without feature selection, the accuracy rate of the SVM classification can reach as high as 79.3-%. After using IG to reduce the feature dimension, with only 28 features remaining, SVM still has a classification accuracy of 78.2-%. The results of this research could enhance the effectiveness of eLearning in special education.

Keywords: Emotion classification, Physiological and facial Expression measures, Students with autism, Mathematics e-learning.

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1690 Creativity: A Motivational Tool for Interest and Conceptual Understanding in Science Education

Authors: Thienhuong Hoang

Abstract:

This qualitative, quantitative mixed-method study explores how students- motivation and interest in creative hands-on activities affected their conceptual understanding of science. The objectives of this research include developing a greater understanding about how creative activities, incorporated into the classroom as instructional strategies, increase student motivation and their learning or mastery of science concepts. The creative activities are viewed as a motivational tool, a specific type of task, which have an impact on student goals. Pre-and-post tests, pre-and-post interviews, and student responses measure motivational-goal theory variables, interest in the activity, and conceptual change. Implications for education and future research will be discussed.

Keywords: Science education, motivation, conceptual understanding, instructional strategies.

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1689 Experimental teaching, Perceived usefulness, Ease of use, Learning Interest and Science Achievement of Taiwan 8th Graders in TIMSS 2007 Database

Authors: Pei Wen Liao, Tsung Hau Jen

Abstract:

the data of Taiwanese 8th grader in the 4th cycle of Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) are analyzed to examine the influence of the science teachers- preference in experimental teaching on the relationships between the affective variables ( the perceived usefulness of science, ease of using science and science learning interest) and the academic achievement in science. After dealing with the missing data, 3711 students and 145 science teacher-s data were analyzed through a Hierarchical Linear Modeling technique. The major objective of this study was to determine the role of the experimental teaching moderates the relationship between perceived usefulness and achievement.

Keywords: TIMSS database, Science achievement, Experimental teaching, Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use

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1688 Regional Role of Higher Education Institutions in Croatia

Authors: Mirjana Jeleč Raguž, Barbara Pisker

Abstract:

Development of knowledge based society carries multiple challenges to the higher education system. Some of the challenges laid before the higher education sector of countries which aspire to become knowledge based societies are: the entrepreneurial leadership of the higher education institutions, finding new sources of financing in order to minimize dependence on public resources, creating connections with the labor market, commercial utilization of R&D results, promotion of innovations as well as the overall promotion of science excellence relevant to the economic sector. Within a framework of this paper and its main subject of research, the challenge which is being put before the higher education institutions is an effort of establishing regional mission of higher education through the open collaboration with regional key factors, both private and public. Development of the mentioned collaboration and its contribution to the overall regional development in Croatia is the main subject of empirical research in this paper.

Keywords: Croatia, Higher Education Institutions, Regional Role, Science-Industry Interaction

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1687 Educating the Educators: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Enhance Science Teaching

Authors: Denise Levy, Anna Lucia C. H. Villavicencio

Abstract:

In a rapid-changing world, science teachers face considerable challenges. In addition to the basic curriculum, there must be included several transversal themes, which demand creative and innovative strategies to be arranged and integrated to traditional disciplines. In Brazil, nuclear science is still a controversial theme, and teachers themselves seem to be unaware of the issue, most often perpetuating prejudice, errors and misconceptions. This article presents the authors’ experience in the development of an interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal to include nuclear science in the basic curriculum, in a transversal and integrating way. The methodology applied was based on the analysis of several normative documents that define the requirements of essential learning, competences and skills of basic education for all schools in Brazil. The didactic materials and resources were developed according to the best practices to improve learning processes privileging constructivist educational techniques, with emphasis on active learning process, collaborative learning and learning through research. The material consists of an illustrated book for students, a book for teachers and a manual with activities that can articulate nuclear science to different disciplines: Portuguese, mathematics, science, art, English, history and geography. The content counts on high scientific rigor and articulate nuclear technology with topics of interest to society in the most diverse spheres, such as food supply, public health, food safety and foreign trade. Moreover, this pedagogical proposal takes advantage of the potential value of digital technologies, implementing QR codes that excite and challenge students of all ages, improving interaction and engagement. The expected results include the education of the educators for nuclear science communication in a transversal and integrating way, demystifying nuclear technology in a contextualized and significant approach. It is expected that the interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal contributes to improving attitudes towards knowledge construction, privileging reconstructive questioning, fostering a culture of systematic curiosity and encouraging critical thinking skills.

Keywords: Science education, interdisciplinary learning, nuclear science; scientific literacy.

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1686 Methodology Issues and Design Approach of VLE on Mathematical Concepts Acquisition within Secondary Education in England

Authors: Aaron A. R. Nwabude

Abstract:

This study used positivist quantitative approach to examine the mathematical concepts acquisition of- KS4 (14-16) Special Education Needs (SENs) students within the school sector education in England. The research is based on a pilot study and the design is completely holistic in its approach with mixing methodologies. The study combines the qualitative and quantitative methods of approach in gathering formative data for the design process. Although, the approach could best be described as a mix method, fundamentally with a strong positivist paradigm, hence my earlier understanding of the differentiation of the students, student – teacher body and the various elements of indicators that is being measured which will require an attenuated description of individual research subjects. The design process involves four phases with five key stages which are; literature review and document analysis, the survey, interview, and observation; then finally the analysis of data set. The research identified the need for triangulation with Reid-s phases of data management providing scaffold for the study. The study clearly identified the ideological and philosophical aspects of educational research design for the study of mathematics by the special education needs (SENs) students in England using the virtual learning environment (VLE) platform.

Keywords: VLE, Special Education Needs, Key stage4, School, Mathematics, Concepts Acquisition

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