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Exploring student teachers' perceptions of the Scienceâ–“Mathematics relationship using electronic conferencing

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Against a background of continuing concern regarding primary and secondary pupils' levels of mathematical skills and a history of problems in science teaching due to the mathematical demands made by teachers and courses, the authors brought together mathematics and science trainee teachers to examine the associated issues. The Open University's postgraduate pre-service teacher training course has many innovative features. For example, the students on this course, which leads to the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) communicate with each other, their course tutors and university staff by means of electronic conferencing. This was the medium chosen by the writers to engage their Open University science and mathematics student teachers in collaboratively exploring the interplay of science and mathematics. This article presents: (1) the methodological and operational considerations of using electronic conferencing as a means of bringing together student teachers from different curriculum domains: the findings from exploring the studentsâ–™ experiences of the interplay of science and mathematics in their own secondary and tertiary education and their school placements; (2) the students' perceptions of (i) science acting as a resource for use in mathematics teaching, (ii) the teaching of science as a place where the applications of mathematical knowledge occurs, and (iii) a thematic approach to teaching and learning; and (3) the development of the studentsâ–™ understanding of the relationship between the mathematical demands of National Curriculum science and National Curriculum mathematics.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Publication date: March 1, 1998

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