Monday seminars will normally be arranged on Mondays at 13.15 in BU-031. If it is arranged at another place or at another time that will be specified.
Reflecting on the value of mathematics in an interdisciplinary STEM course
by Nelleke den Braber (NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences)
Host: Pauline Vos
Rationales for interdisciplinary STEM courses are often based on the fact that the problems we face in today’s world call for perspectives and knowledge from many different areas. In many cases this includes mathematics because it is used in many research fields and because it is part of everyday life. At the same time interdisciplinary literature suggests that mathematics gains the least from integration. In this presentation, I will use a successful interdisciplinary STEM course in the Netherlands to illustrate how students and teachers think about the value of mathematics. To analyse teacher and student statements concerning the value of mathematics a model is introduced for a disciplinary mathematics perspective for interdisciplinary STEM courses and the opportunities this model can provide will be discussed.
Digital resources in mathematics education at the tertiary level: Opportunities and challenges
by Said Hadjerrouit, professor
Tertiary education is an important issue for society, but only recently it has become a major topic in mathematics education research. A critical issue is the increased relevance of digital resources and the demands that society places on teachers to integrate technologies into their classroom practices and provide students with learning opportunities. This talk will discuss the following areas of general interest: digital resources in mathematics education at the tertiary level, role of mathematics and digital resources in other disciplines (e.g. engineering), teachers’ and students’ practices, transition from secondary to tertiary mathematics, theoretical frameworks and didactic paradigms that are especially linked to digital resources in mathematics education research at the tertiary level.
Cortisol Responses of Students during Education outside the Classroom (EOtC) - Some Lessons Learned
by Dr. Ulrich Dettweiler
In this contribution, I will present data from an exploratory study that aimed to evaluate the association between students’ cortisol levels, and their physical activity (PA) levels, determined as sitting behavior (SB), light PA (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). We assessed data from an EOtC program (intervention group [IG], n = 37; control group [CG], n = 11) in three seasons (fall/spring/summer) in outdoor lessons (IG) and normal indoor lessons (CG). SB and PA were evaluated by accelerometry, and cortisol levels by saliva samples.
The intervention consisted of one school-day per week in the forest, with 5 x 45 min “science class” and 1 x 45 min “physical education” (PE) allocated over the school day as specified. We consider the same academic demand for the children in both teaching contexts, however, differently organized in the intervention. Looking at the respective schedules, two major differences can be seen: (1) the curriculum in EOtC is taught in cross-disciplinary units on the forest days, whereas it is taught in segments, subject by subject, in normal class; and (2) the pedagogical approach of the outdoor-learning program includes opportunities to autonomously use the space in which the teaching is going on, including physical activation as walks (the rather informal PE part in the intervention design) to reach specific places in the forest. In contrast, the frame for science lessons within the control group is connected to traditional indoor teaching concepts with less opportunities and variability with respect to use of space.
Participants were recruited from 5th grade students from the above-mentioned secondary school in Heidelberg, Germany.
We were able to include 48 students into the study, 37 in the intervention group, and 11 in normal class (mean age = 11.2 years; standard deviation (SD) = 0.5). As of normal occurrence, some students were absent from school during data collection, which accordingly lead to missing data.
I will focus my presentation on methodological issues. Firstly, I will discuss different strategies to prepare the cortisol data for statistical analysis, i.e. the area under the curve with respect to the ground (AUCg), the area under the curve with respect to increase (AUCi), and peak reactivity (PR).
I will then address the problem of the multicollinearity of the predictor variables SB, LPA, and MVPA, which sum up to 100% total. A Bayesian Ridge regression approach is suggested and discussed.
At the end, I will raise some epistemological concerns associated with this analysis and will conclude with some lessons learned for (my) further research with biophysiological parameters in education.
Dr. Ulrich Dettweiler
Is Associate Professor of Pedagogy, Head of Doctoral Programs at the Faculty of Arts and Education, University of Stavanger.
Associate Editor of Journal of Experiential Education. Check out the latest issue:
Exploring undergraduate engineering students’ competencies and attitudes towards mathematical problem-posing in integral calculus
by Farzad Radmehr, postdoc
The present study explores engineering students’ mathematical problem posing competencies in relation to integral calculus, and their attitudes towards mathematical problem posing. The sample comprised of 135 undergraduate engineering students from a public university in Iran. Students’ problem posing abilities were explored using a test including eight problem posing tasks related to fundamental theorem of calculus and integral-area relationships. Furthermore, students completed a questionnaire that explored their attitudes towards mathematical problem posing. Nine students also participated in a semi-structured interview. The findings indicate that many students could improve their problem-posing abilities further, and around 60 percent of students had positive attitudes towards mathematical problem posing activities.
Further programme for Spring 2020 will be announced later.