|M.Sc Student||Kardosh Ruba|
|Subject||Integration of Mathematics Learning in|
Middle School Science-Technology Projects
A Case Study
|Department||Department of Education in Science and Technology||Supervisor||Professor Igor Verner|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
This research deals with integration of mathematical learning in the scientific-technological project "Gildor" which is part of the Ministry of Education program "Excellence 2000". The purpose of this research was to develop and examine mathematical activities, and to monitor the process of mathematical learning for middle school students within the Gildor project. Our research questions were :
1: What are the principles for integration of inquiry-based mathematical learning in the technological-scientific project?
2: What features of mathematical learning were characteristic for middle school students participated in the project ?
3: Did students' attitudes toward mathematics change following participation in the project? If so, what are the changes?
The research was conducted as a case study in one of the comprehensive schools in Nazareth with participation of fifty-five students. The research utilized the mixed method, combining quantitative and qualitative tools. These tools included observations, interviews, attitude questionnaires, analysis of artefacts and researcher's diary.
In order to answer the first research question, we surveyed literature and extracted the principles of inquiry-based learning that are applicable for integration in a technological project. These principles were practically tested by applying them in project guidance and in analysis of the learning processes and students' reflection. The following principles were identified:
1) Active involvement of the mathematics teacher.
2) A balance between learning mathematical topics and their practical use in the
3) Learning mathematical concepts systematically and in depth required to cope with
4) Promoting teamwork mathematical activities and discourse.
5) Threading mathematics study into technological-scientific contents of the project. 6) Learning driven by interest.
To answer the second research question, we made observations of project activities and draw out embedded patterns of mathematical learning. In addition, we conducted interviews and analyzed diary records. The following characteristics were indicated:
1) Close connection between the learned mathematical topic and its concrete use in the context of the project.
2) Understanding mathematical concepts through practice of application.
3) Learning through iteration.
4) Utilizing applied mathematical inquiry as a motivational drive.
5) Applied mathematical practice as higher order thinking activity.
In order to answer the third research question, attitude questionnaires (pre and post) and interviews were conducted. The findings can be summarized as follows:
1) Reinforcement of positive attitude towards practical application of mathematics.
2) Growth of interest in science and technology.
3) Reinforcement of the desire to apply mathematics.
4) Satisfaction from understanding mathematical concepts.