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Abstract

Modelling activities serve to integrate real-life objects into STEM classes. This article investigates different settings for modelling with real objects and their representations both inside and outside the classroom. Using the example of mathematics, the settings working outside the classroom at the real object, inside the classroom with photos, and inside the classroom with a 3D model are considered and compared in an explorative study with 29 students. Questionnaire items provide information about the students’ perceptions of the different settings. The results report significant differences in the simplifying and structuring step as well as in the mathematising step when comparing the settings outside and inside with photos. The results are taken up for generating hypotheses concerning the role of the outdoors in interdisciplinary STEM modelling activities.

Open Access
In: Research in Integrated STEM Education

Abstract

In this paper, we report on a conceptual replication of a fractions test originally administered in the 1970s in England as part of the ‘Concepts in Secondary Mathematics and Science’ (CSMS) research programme documenting lower secondary students’ understanding of mathematics. We present data from a recent study conducted in Denmark with 336 students aged between 12 and 14 years, presenting descriptive results as in the original research. In addition, we use Rasch modelling — a technique that was not widely used in the 1970s — to further analyse the students’ understanding of fractions and to validate the test. Our findings indicate that Danish students’ fractional understanding in word or diagrammatic contexts is slightly stronger in comparison to that of the English students in the original study, whereas the case for computations involving fractions is the reverse. We discuss the possible reasons for these differences. Our study provides evidence that fractional knowledge involves a number of components and suggest ways in which the test might be improved.

The Impact Sheet to this article can be accessed at 10.6084/m9.figshare.24219673

Open Access
In: Implementation and Replication Studies in Mathematics Education

Abstract

We present the results of a systematic literature review of research articles that self-identify as describing the implementation of innovations from mathematics education research in educational practice. We classified 103 articles according to study type, the type of teaching/learning phenomenon the implementation targeted, and whether the innovation carrier was a curriculum reform, professional development, or a curriculum resource. We found that interest in implementation research increased from a modest number of published studies prior to 2003 to a peak in 2021. Other results highlight that projects that targeted teaching in line with the U.S. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics process standards were dominant when curricular reform acted as a carrier. Planning and design aspects of such projects were rarely reported, and projects were rarely discussed theoretically. Instead, such projects were commonly researched by studying teachers’ reform enactment. We discuss the consequences of this imbalance.

The impact sheet to this article can be accessed at 10.6084/m9.figshare.24219124

Open Access
In: Implementation and Replication Studies in Mathematics Education

Abstract

Scale and scaling are central concepts in projects aimed at implementing innovations for improving mathematics education. This study aims to provide conceptual clarity on the notions of scale and scaling in mathematics education research. The meanings of these terms are handled tacitly, and there is diversity in how they are used in the literature. To address this, we gathered opinions from experienced researchers in the area of the large-scale implementation of educational innovations, and we also conducted a literature review of articles explicitly addressing aspects of scale and scaling in mathematics education. We analyzed the content of these sources using Coburn’s (2003) conceptualization of scale. Our findings provide insight into how experts define and understand the concepts of small scale, large scale, at scale and scaling, and how these concepts relate to the four dimensions of scale proposed by Coburn. This study contributes to developing a more precise and nuanced understanding of scale and scaling in mathematics education research by offering an operational distinction between small-scale, large-scale, and medium-scale project implementation. This distinction is based on three key factors: the contact factor, the material factor, and the organizational factor.

The impact sheet to this article can be accessed at 10.6084/m9.figshare.22339609.

Open Access
In: Implementation and Replication Studies in Mathematics Education

Abstract

As the prevalence of integrated STEM education increases worldwide, some elementary schools in the United States have converted their programs to be more STEM-focused. This study examines the practices of two highly regarded STEM-focused elementary schools that focus on engineering education. The resulting case studies of the school explain their engineering programming, teacher professional development, and the way they situate growth mindset to integrate an engineering design process across content areas. These schools have successfully sustained the integration of engineering education by partnering with engineers and engineering educators outside of the school, providing a conducive environment for teacher collaboration, and enhance growth mindset for the school community by using the lens of engineering design. Administrators, teachers, and students all used an engineering design cycle to learn and solve problems. The systems found at these schools have the potential be transferred into other school settings wanting to amplify their STEM offerings.

Open Access
In: Research in Integrated STEM Education

Abstract

Given concerns in the Australian context about students’ attitudes and declining participation in STEM subjects in the senior secondary years, a range of initiatives have been developed to support teacher design of innovative STEM curriculum and pedagogy. The STEM Academy program worked with interdisciplinary teams of secondary STEM teachers to develop teacher capacity to create real-world, challenging problems to engage and motivate their students. Questionnaire and interview data collected from one cohort of 70 teachers from twelve schools, three program facilitators, and school leaders provided a case study revealing themes about the nature of the journey, the role of the program and the processes and varied nature of schools’ STEM curriculum innovations. An innovation framework was used to make sense of teachers’ journeys towards effective and sustainable STEM practices leading to the identification of three models that reflected different approaches to the challenge of representing STEM within subject-based curricular settings.

Open Access
In: Research in Integrated STEM Education

Abstract

To address the lack of a classroom observation protocol aligned with integrated STEM, the author team developed one to measure the degree of integrated STEM instruction implemented in K-12 science and engineering classrooms. This study demonstrates how our instrument can be used to uncover the dimensions of integrated STEM instruction practiced in K-12 classrooms and to determine which protocol items are associated with each of these dimensions. This article reports on the results of a principal component analysis (PCA) using 2030 K-12 classroom observation videos. PCA revealed two core dimensions of integrated STEM education. Real-world problem-solving includes 21st century skills and STEM practices necessary for developing solutions to real-world problems. Nature of Integrated STEM includes items that promote integration between the real-world context, students’ personal experiences, STEM careers, and STEM content. The authors’ analysis also suggests the possibility of an additional dimension of integrated STEM involving technology practices in STEM.

Open Access
In: Research in Integrated STEM Education

Abstract

Embodied learning technologies have shown efficacy in laboratories with ideal supportive conditions, but their effectiveness in classroom with “real-world” constraints is yet understudied. Inspired by the innovation implementation framework, we compare the classroom-situated engagements of two student pairs and their teachers with the action-based embodied design for proportions with earlier laboratory and classroom study findings and conjecture on influential factors. Much of these classroom students’ sensorimotor learning resembled laboratory findings, but they had more opportunities to be overtly engaged with their hands and self-directed in including artifacts, likely influenced by (unintended) technological changes and setting-specific environmental affordances. Their teachers’ engagements resembled laboratory findings to some extent, but showed less perceptiveness to students’ qualitative multimodal expressions and more directedness in introducing new quantitative forms of engagements, likely influenced by setting-specific fragmented access and novelty of the embodied pedagogy. We discuss the importance of focusing on teachers and conducting semi-natural efficacy research.

The impact sheet to this article can be accessed at 10.6084/m9.figshare.21205298.

Open Access
In: Implementation and Replication Studies in Mathematics Education

Abstract

In this study, we investigate how the results of the Swedish PUMP project (1973–1977) influenced the content of mathematics textbooks in Sweden. Through analyses of 26 mathematics textbooks and interviews with three key informants, we identified a large impact on textbooks and six different channels for spreading innovations to textbooks, but also teachers. We theoretically frame our results on Coburn’s four dimensions of scaling: depth, sustainability, spread, and shift in reform ownership. Our results showed that although the PUMP project was never officially implemented, its scaling followed a number of official channels. Thus, we argue that the project is an example of what may be referred to as informal implementation. We also hypothesize that while textbooks calling for a change in teaching practice rarely succeed as carriers of innovations, a change in content aligned with existing teaching practice can successfully facilitate scaling innovations without accompanying extensive professional development.

The impact sheet to this article can be accessed at 10.6084/m9.figshare.21080656.

Open Access
In: Implementation and Replication Studies in Mathematics Education