Culture-related Context for Mathematics and Science
- Mathematics and Science Subject dimension: (inter)cultural perspectives on the subjects themselves
In this module student-teachers ITE (initial teacher education) at lower secondary level are introduced to the role and the use of culture-related contexts for the teaching and learning of mathematics and science.
Students will perform better in science and mathematics when the central concepts are grounded in contexts that can be recognised from daily life – which is dependent on the cultural background of the students and the (prospective) teachers. To prepare future teachers for teaching in cultural diverse classrooms, acknowledging and appreciating the cultural background (including subcultures and personal cultural identities) of their students.
The aim of this module is twofold:
- To equip future teachers with the knowledge, skills, values and resources necessary to enhance science and mathematics learning in culturally diverse classrooms. We will have them involved in activities to learn to appreciate and respect the rich history and rich applications of science and mathematics. In order to do so we present them with 8 examples (based on a review of literature and a collection of good practices) of rich, diverse cultural contexts for learning science and mathematics.
- To promote an unprejudiced, open minded and appreciative attitude towards the use of mathematics and science in different cultures (including subcultures and personal cultures).
In this module the following topics will be addressed:
- Definitions of relevant terms like: culture, context, indigenous science etc.
- Theory and background on the use of contexts to enhance concept development for student in mathematics and science.
- Background on intercultural perspectives on mathematics and science, including ethno-mathematics and ethno-science.
- Connecting theory to educational practice in mathematics and science, by:
- studying specific examples exploring sources of culture-related contexts
- analysing textbooks and identifying examples and opportunities to use culture-related contexts
- designing a lesson based on a culture-related context fitting the classroom situation and the ‘cultures’ of your students
Through this module prospective teacher will be able to:
- Analyse the role of (diverse) cultural contexts for learning science and mathematics;
- Find and explore events in the history of mathematics and science that illustrate contributions from different cultures;
- Appreciate and respect the rich history and rich applications of science and mathematics;
- Experiment with and reflect on the use of tasks for mathematics and science teaching that are cast in contexts from different cultures;
- Refer to examples from different (sub)cultures (including personal identities) when trying to raise interest for mathematics and science in their (future) classrooms;
- Use pedagogical approaches which promote an unprejudiced, open minded and appreciative attitude towards the use of mathematics and science in different (sub)cultures (including personal culture) and allow reflection and own investigations into science and mathematics.