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Full-Text Articles in Education

Parts Of The Whole: The Virtue Of Books, Dorothy Wallace Jul 2012

Parts Of The Whole: The Virtue Of Books, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

This column argues that the majority of commercial textbooks do not serve students well. Strategies for change include clearly distinguishing the textbook requirements of different priority subjects and assembling writers who can address, in addition to content development, the cognitive level of the children as well as writing in an age-appropriate way. A discussion of the forces that produce current texts leads to the recommendation that textbooks be a focus of research and improvement rather than the byproduct of an individual’s lecture notes.


Introducing Geoscience Students To Numerical Modeling Of Volcanic Hazards: The Example Of Tephra2 On Vhub.Org, Leah M. Courtland, Charles Connor, Laura Connor, Costanza Bonadonna Jul 2012

Introducing Geoscience Students To Numerical Modeling Of Volcanic Hazards: The Example Of Tephra2 On Vhub.Org, Leah M. Courtland, Charles Connor, Laura Connor, Costanza Bonadonna

Numeracy

The Tephra2 numerical model for tephra fallout from explosive volcanic eruptions is specifically designed to enable students to probe ideas in model literacy, including code validation and verification, the role of simplifying assumptions, and the concepts of uncertainty and forecasting. This numerical model is implemented on the VHub.org website, a venture in cyberinfrastructure that brings together volcanological models and educational materials. The VHub.org resource provides students with the ability to explore and execute sophisticated numerical models like Tephra2. We present a strategy for using this model to introduce university students to key concepts in the use and evaluation ...


Spreadsheets Across The Curriculum, 4: Evidence Of Student Learning And Attitudes About Spreadsheets In A Physical Geology Course, Heather L. Lehto, H. L. Vacher Jul 2012

Spreadsheets Across The Curriculum, 4: Evidence Of Student Learning And Attitudes About Spreadsheets In A Physical Geology Course, Heather L. Lehto, H. L. Vacher

Numeracy

Spreadsheets have been used in education for teaching math concepts for years. However, when faculty at the University of South Florida began using a new set of spreadsheet-based modules to help teach students math and geology concepts the students were not receptive. The complaint most often heard was that students spent more time learning how to use Excel than they did learning the concepts presented in the modules. We began to wonder if the learning curve for Excel was so great that it prevented our students from attaining the level of learning for the math and geology concepts that we ...


Number Sense: The Underpinning Understanding For Early Quantitative Literacy, Effie Maclellan Jul 2012

Number Sense: The Underpinning Understanding For Early Quantitative Literacy, Effie Maclellan

Numeracy

The fundamental meaning of Quantitative Literacy (QL) as the application of quantitative knowledge or reasoning in new/unfamiliar contexts is problematic because how we acquire knowledge, and transfer it to new situations, is not straightforward. This article argues that in the early development of QL, there is a specific corpus of numerical knowledge which learners need to integrate into their thinking, and to which teachers should attend. The paper is a rebuttal to historically prevalent (and simplistic) views that the terrain of early numerical understanding is little more than simple counting devoid of cognitive complexity. Rather, the knowledge upon which ...


Quantitative Reasoning And Sustainability, Corrine H. Taylor Jul 2012

Quantitative Reasoning And Sustainability, Corrine H. Taylor

Numeracy

Quantitative Reasoning and Sustainability have much in common. Both are complex, nuanced concepts with rather long definitions that have evolved over time. Both subjects are “everybody’s business” on college campuses, and must be approached in courses across the curriculum, not merely in one course on QR or in one course on Sustainability. The growing, wider presence of both QR and Sustainability on college campuses is due to their applicability in individuals’ personal, professional, and public lives. Moreover, QR and Sustainability support and enhance each other in and out of the classroom. Sustainability is an important, authentic, relevant context for ...


Incorporating Quantitative Reasoning In Common Core Courses: Mathematics For The Ghost Map, John R. Jungck Jan 2012

Incorporating Quantitative Reasoning In Common Core Courses: Mathematics For The Ghost Map, John R. Jungck

Numeracy

How can mathematics be integrated into multi-section interdisciplinary courses to enhance thematic understandings and shared common readings? As an example, four forms of quantitative reasoning are used to understand and critique one such common reading: Steven Berlin Johnson’s "The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World" (Riverhead Books, 2006). Geometry, statistics, modeling, and networks are featured in this essay as the means of depicting, understanding, elaborating, and critiquing the public health issues raised in Johnson’s book. Specific pedagogical examples and resources are included to illustrate ...


Parts Of The Whole: Learn More, Learn Better, Dorothy Wallace Jan 2012

Parts Of The Whole: Learn More, Learn Better, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

Building on previous columns in Numeracy, this column analyzes various teaching techniques in terms of their ability to build cognitive schema, extend existing schema, reinforce learning, move mean understanding of a group of students, and reduce variance in understanding of a group. We offer a pedagogical cycle as an example of how to address multiple learning goals using common teaching methods.


If Only Math Majors Could Write..., Bernard L. Madison Jan 2012

If Only Math Majors Could Write..., Bernard L. Madison

Numeracy

This text of the opening plenary address to the 2011 Summit of the Appalachian College Association and the meeting of the National Numeracy Network makes an argument that quantitative reasoning and writing should be taught together. The argument is set up by noting that humanists have historically banished quantitative issues from their study of the liberal arts and that science, engineering, and mathematics education suffers from lack of approaches to learning that promote complex, deeper understanding, most notably integrative and reflective learning. Therefore, everyone would profit from combining writing and quantitative reasoning. Five more specific reasons are discussed, drawing evidence ...


Period Life Tables: A Resource For Quantitative Literacy, Thomas J. Pfaff, Stanley Seltzer Jan 2012

Period Life Tables: A Resource For Quantitative Literacy, Thomas J. Pfaff, Stanley Seltzer

Numeracy

A period life table provides an estimate of the probability that a person will die at a particular age. Using data available online, we examine tables of expected years to live for males and females against age for three populations: the United States in 2007, the U.S. at the turn of the twentieth century, and the Roman Empire. Scatter plots of males and females for each population show how life expectancy increases with age (e.g., U.S. 2007: 50 year-old female > 40 year-old female > 45 year-old male). The three data sets allow historical comparisons (e.g., of gender ...


Motivation For Achievement And Attitudes Toward Mathematics Instruction In A Required Calculus Course At The Norwegian University Of Science And Technology, Donna Sundre, Carol Barry, Vidar Gynnild, Erin Tangen Ostgard Jan 2012

Motivation For Achievement And Attitudes Toward Mathematics Instruction In A Required Calculus Course At The Norwegian University Of Science And Technology, Donna Sundre, Carol Barry, Vidar Gynnild, Erin Tangen Ostgard

Numeracy

This study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) examines students’ learning goals and attitudes toward mathematics in a first-year calculus course in undergraduate engineering education. Achievement motivation research using the Achievement Goal Questionnaire (AGQ) is advanced from current literature with two additions: (1) a course specific context using introductory college calculus students, and (2) participation of Norwegian students.

Pre- and posttest measures of attitudes indicate that students do change learning goals over time, unfortunately opposite to the instructors’ aspirations. A significant increase in “Mastery Avoidance” and “Work Avoidance” was accompanied with a drop in “Mastery Approach” and ...


Quantitative Literacy Interventions At University Of Cape Town: Effects Of Separation From Academic Disciplines, Vera Frith Jan 2012

Quantitative Literacy Interventions At University Of Cape Town: Effects Of Separation From Academic Disciplines, Vera Frith

Numeracy

The aim of the Numeracy Centre at the University of Cape Town is to develop students’ quantitative literacy (QL) in a manner consistent with their programmes of study and intended roles in the community. Our theoretical perspective on the nature of QL is in line with that of the New Literacies Studies and sees academic QL as practices in different academic disciplinary contexts. This means that for us the ideal curriculum structure for developing QL would fully integrate it into the teaching of the disciplines. This is in practice not achievable in most cases, especially since many students do not ...


Numeracy, Financial Literacy, And Financial Decision-Making, Annamaria Lusardi Jan 2012

Numeracy, Financial Literacy, And Financial Decision-Making, Annamaria Lusardi

Numeracy

Financial decisions, be they related to asset building or debt management, require the capacity to do calculations, including some complex ones. But how numerate are individuals, in particular when it comes to calculations related to financial decisions? Studies and surveys implemented in both the United States and in other countries that are described in this paper show the level of numeracy among the population to be very low. Moreover, lack of numeracy is not only widespread but is particularly severe among some demographic groups, such as women, the elderly, and those with low educational attainment. This has potential consequences for ...


The Joy Of Quantitative Reasoning, Caren Diefenderfer Jan 2012

The Joy Of Quantitative Reasoning, Caren Diefenderfer

Numeracy

One of the advantages of focusing on quantitative reasoning is that it spans a wide variety of topics. As incoming president of the National Numeracy Network, I would like to take the opportunity of this editorial to tell my story of intellectual reward from finding common purpose in quantitative reasoning with colleagues from disciplines outside of mathematics. The story starts with an NSF-funded faculty development project (DUE-9952807) to further a QR across-the-curriculum program and the finding from that program that merging authentic context with mathematics brings interaction and collaboration. That joy in learning from and working with colleagues in other ...


Team-Teaching Experiences Of A Mathematician And A Mathematics Teacher Educator: An Interpretative Phenomenological Case Study, Sarah K. Bleiler Jan 2012

Team-Teaching Experiences Of A Mathematician And A Mathematics Teacher Educator: An Interpretative Phenomenological Case Study, Sarah K. Bleiler

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In recent years, experts and organizations involved in mathematics education have emphasized the importance of collaboration between mathematicians and mathematics teacher educators as a means of improving the professional preparation of mathematics teachers. While several such collaborative endeavors have been documented in the extant literature, most research reports have focused on the products, rather than the process, of collaboration. The purpose of this interpretative phenomenological case study is to gain an understanding of the lived experiences of a mathematician and a mathematics teacher educator as they engaged in a team-teaching collaboration within the context of prospective secondary mathematics teacher preparation ...


Statistical Content In Middle Grades Mathematics Textbooks, Maria Consuelo (Suzie) Capiral Pickle Jan 2012

Statistical Content In Middle Grades Mathematics Textbooks, Maria Consuelo (Suzie) Capiral Pickle

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Statistical Content in Middle Grades Mathematics Textbooks

Maria Consuelo (Suzie) Capiral Pickle

Abstract

This study analyzed the treatment and scope of

statistical concepts in four, widely-used, contemporary, middle

grades mathematics textbook series: Glencoe Math Connects,

Prentice Hall Mathematics, Connected Mathematics Project, and

University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. There were

three phases for the data analysis. Phase 1 addressed the location

and sequence of the statistical concepts. Phase 2 focused upon an

examination of the lesson narrative, its components and scope.

Phase 3 analyzed the level of cognitive demand required of the

students to complete the exercises, and the total ...


Socioscientific Issues: A Path Towards Advanced Scientificliteracy And Improved Conceptual Understanding Of Socially Controversial Scientific Theories, Dean William Pinzino Jan 2012

Socioscientific Issues: A Path Towards Advanced Scientificliteracy And Improved Conceptual Understanding Of Socially Controversial Scientific Theories, Dean William Pinzino

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Abstract

This thesis investigates the use of socioscientific issues (SSI) in the high school science classroom as an introduction to argumentation and socioscientific reasoning, with the goal of improving students' scientific literacy (SL). Current research is reviewed that supports the likelihood of students developing a greater conceptual understanding of scientific theories as well as a deeper understanding of the nature of science (NOS), through participation in informal and formal forms of argumentation in the context of SSI. Significant gains in such understanding may improve a student's ability to recognize the rigor, legitimacy, and veracity of scientific claims and better ...


Communication And Academic Vocabulary In Mathematics: A Content Analysis Of Prompts Eliciting Written Responses In Two Elementary Mathematics Textbooks, Christine M. Joseph Jan 2012

Communication And Academic Vocabulary In Mathematics: A Content Analysis Of Prompts Eliciting Written Responses In Two Elementary Mathematics Textbooks, Christine M. Joseph

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to investigate how writing in mathematics is treated in one 4th grade National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded mathematics textbook titled Everyday Mathematics and one publisher-generated textbook titled enVision MATH. The developed framework provided categories to support each of the research questions. The results indicate that writing is supported in both traditional and NSF developed 4th grade mathematics textbooks

Results also indicated the number of exercises and writing prompts was higher in the enVision MATH textbook. However, Everyday Mathematics had a higher percentage of exercises that were coded as writing prompts. The framework domains of ...


Defining Earth Smarts: A Construct Analysis For Socioecological Literacy Based On Justly Maintaining Quality Of Life, Bryan H. Nichols Jan 2012

Defining Earth Smarts: A Construct Analysis For Socioecological Literacy Based On Justly Maintaining Quality Of Life, Bryan H. Nichols

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This paper describes the creation and validation of a new educational construct. Socioecological literacy, or earth smarts, describes the qualities we need to justly maintain or improve our quality of life in a changing world. It was created using construct analysis techniques and systems tools, drawing on an extensive, transdisciplinary body of literature. Concepts related to environmental, ecological and scientific literacy, sustainability and citizenship were combined with educational frameworks, new research in science education, and modern cognitive psychology. After the initial formulation, the results were considered by a variety of experts and professionals from the fields of ecology, environmental science ...


Investigating The Status Of Early Numeracy Skills In Bilingual Dual Language Learner Latino Children Attending Head Start And The Association With Parent Demographic Characteristics, Chavely Lissette Iglesias Jan 2012

Investigating The Status Of Early Numeracy Skills In Bilingual Dual Language Learner Latino Children Attending Head Start And The Association With Parent Demographic Characteristics, Chavely Lissette Iglesias

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Research on mathematics achievement has become increasingly important with today's technological advances and demand for specialized knowledge. Though there is much literature regarding mathematics achievement in monolingual speakers, little is known regarding the mathematical abilities of Dual Language Learner (DLL) Latino children. This study examined the early numeracy skills in English and Spanish of 132 DLL Latino children attending Head Start programs in five counties across Florida. Relationships and differences among their performance in both languages were examined, along with the contribution of specific parent demographic variables to math achievement. Findings indicated that DLL Latino Head Start children's ...


The Impact Of Socioscientific Issues Based Curriculum Involving Environmental Outdoor Education For Fourth Grade Students, Karey Burek Jan 2012

The Impact Of Socioscientific Issues Based Curriculum Involving Environmental Outdoor Education For Fourth Grade Students, Karey Burek

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

There is a divide between what students are being taught within the science classroom and what they experience out in the real world. This study sought to explore possible relationships between a socioscientific issues embedded curriculum and outcome variables addressing environmental attitude and knowledge, oral and written argumentation and critical thinking skills. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to examine both within and between class differences as well as individual differences between the beginning and end of a semester of elementary school. Results indicated that socioscientific issues assist students in developing their critical thinking skills while also providing students ...


Member Perceptions Of Informal Science Institutions Graduate Certificate Program: Case Study Of A Community Of Practice, Lois A. Ball Jan 2012

Member Perceptions Of Informal Science Institutions Graduate Certificate Program: Case Study Of A Community Of Practice, Lois A. Ball

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Abstract

This research attempted to understand the experiences of a cohort of informal and formal science educators and informal science institution (ISI) community representatives during and after completion of a pilot graduate certificate program. Informal science educators (ISEs) find limited opportunities for professional development and support which influence their contributions to America's science literacy and school science education. This emergent design nested case study described how an innovative program provided professional development and enabled growth in participants' abilities to contribute to science literacy. Data were collected through interviews, participant observations, and class artifacts. The program by design and constituency ...