Science and Mathematics Education for 21st Century Citizens: Challenges and Ways Forward


Elizabeth Oldham (Editor) – Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, Ireland
Ana S. Afonso (Editor) – University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Floriano Viseu (Editor) – University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Luís Dourado (Editor) – University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Maria Helena Martinho (Editor – University of Minho, Braga, Portugal

Series: Education in a Competitive and Globalizing World
BISAC: EDU029030

This book addresses the challenges that face science and mathematics education if it is to be relevant to 21st century citizens, as well as the ways that outstanding specialists from several countries around the world think it should deal with those challenges. Starting with the issue of science and mathematics teacher education in a changing world, it moves on to deal with innovative approaches to teaching science and mathematics. It then discusses contemporary issues related to the role played by technology in science and mathematics education, the challenges of the STEM agenda, and ways of making science and mathematics education more inclusive. Finally, it focuses on assessment issues, as the success of science and mathematics education depends at least in part on the purposes for which, and ways in which, students’ learning is assessed.

There is a worldwide trend towards providing meaningful science and mathematics education to all children for the sake of literacy and numeracy development and a need to produce enough science and technology specialists. This trend and need, coupled with the concern raised by students’ disengagement in these two knowledge areas and the role that technology may play in countering it, put increasingly high demands on teachers.

As shown in this book, science and mathematics education may offer a unique contribution in developing responsible citizens by fostering skills required in order to assume wider responsibilities and roles, focusing on personal, social and environmental dimensions. For instance, it offers unique insights into how teachers can build on students’ complicated and interconnected real-worlds to help them learn authentic and relevant science and mathematics.
Additionally, the book highlights potential positive relationships between science and mathematics, which are often envisaged as having a conflicting relationship in school curricula. By uncovering the similarities between them, and by providing evidence that both areas deal with issues that are relevant for citizens’ daily lives, the book explores ways of linking and giving coherence to science and mathematics knowledge as components of everyday life settings. It also provides directions for future research on the educational potential of interconnecting science and mathematics at the different educational levels.

Therefore, this is a worthwhile book for researchers, teacher educators and schoolteachers. It covers theoretical perspectives, research-based approaches and practical applications that may make a difference in education that is relevant and inclusive for citizens in the 21st century.

Table of Contents




Part 1. Science and Mathematics Teacher Education in a Changing World

Chapter 1. STEM Continuing Professional Development for 21st Century Teaching and Learning: The Bridge21 Approach
(Aibhín Bray, Jake Rowan Byrne and Brendan Tangney, School of Education, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, and others)

Chapter 2. Education for Sustainability Literacy: A Challenge for Teacher Education
(Doris Elster, Institute of Science Education – Biology, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany)

Chapter 3. Emotions in the Teaching of Science
(Pedro Membiela, Katherine Acosta, Antonio González, Manuel Vidal and Miguel Ángel Yebra, University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain, and others)

Part 2. Innovative Approaches to Teaching Science and Mathematics

Chapter 4. Motion and Function Graphs: An Example of Interplay between Physics and Mathematics at School
(Maria Alessandra Mariotti, Department of Information Engineering and Mathematics, University of Siena, Siena, Italy)

Chapter 5. Innovative Strategies for Science Teaching
(Agustín Adúriz-Bravo, CONICET/CeFIEC Institute, Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Chapter 6. Transfer of Activities from Innovative Environments Such as Makerspaces to Classrooms
(Susanne Walan, Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)

Chapter 7. Exploratory Mathematics Teaching and the Development of Students’ Use of Representations and Reasoning Processes: An Illustration with Rational Numbers
(João Pedro da Ponte and Marisa Quaresma, Institute of Education, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal)

Part 3. Technologically Enhanced Science and Mathematics Education

Chapter 8. Preparing the Next Generation of Scientific Thinkers: Developing Inquiry and Critical Thinking Skills in Children
(Shanshan Ma and J. Michael Spector, Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, US)

Chapter 9. Educational Robotics for STEM: A Review of Technologies and Some Educational Considerations
(Theodosios Sapounidis, and Dimitris Alimisis, European Lab for Educational Technology-EDUMOTIVA, Athens, Greece, and Department of Information and Electronic Engineering, International Hellenic University (I.H.U.), Thessaloniki, Greece)

Chapter 10. Virtual Reality as a Tool for Improvement of Hands-On Science Learning
(Richard Lamb, Neurocognition Science Laboratory, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, US)

Chapter 11. Interdisciplinary Technological Approaches from a Mathematics Education Point of View
(Floriano Viseu and Helena Rocha, Institute of Education/CIEd, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, and others)

Part 4. Science and Mathematics Education and the STEM Agenda

Chapter 12. STEM: Opportunities and Challenges for Education
(Linda Hobbs, School of Education, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Victoria, Australia)

Chapter 13. Promoting 21st Century Skills through STEM Integration: A Comparative Analysis of National Curricula
(Gráinne Walshe, Jennifer Johnston and Merrilyn Goos, Science Learning Centre, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland, and others)

Chapter 14. Effective Teaching in Primary Science, Technology, Society and the Environment
(Liliane Dionne, Natascia Petringa and Angela Fitzgerald, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and others)

Part 5. Science and Mathematics Education in Inclusive Schools

Chapter 15. Mathematics Education in Inclusive, Plurilingual and Multicultural Schools
(Solange H. A. A. Fernandes and Lulu Healy, Anhanguera University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, and others)

Chapter 16. Hands-On STEM Activities for Students with Disabilities
(Cary Supalo and Jasodhara Bhattacharya, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, US, and others)

Chapter 17. Challenges Faced by Students with Hearing Impairment who use Portuguese Sign Language in Mathematics Classes
(Joana Tinoco, Maria Helena Martinho and Anabela Cruz-Santos, Institute of Education/CIEd, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)

Part 6. 21st Century Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education

Chapter 18. Issues and Challenges of 21st Century Assessment in Mathematics Education
(Farzad Radmehr and Pauline Vos, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway)

Chapter 19. Assessment for Learning
(Jon Scaife, School of Education, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

About the Editors



“Laurinda Leite, Elizabeth Oldham, Ana S. Afonso, Floriano Viseu, Luĩs Dourado, and Maria Helena Martinho’s edited collection Science and Mathematics Education for 21st Century Citizens: Challenges and Ways Forward strives to offer ways forward to developing human capital by advancing science and math knowledge. This is for the few who will innovate and contribute fundamentally to the betterment of human life. This is for the general populations who can align behind science for improved human health and a healthier and more sustainable environment. This collection was inspired during the 2019 Association for Teacher Education in Europe Winter Conference. A short year later, this collection offers educational programs for teachers, research, new pedagogical models and methods, and ways to build the capabilities of people and infrastructures for new generations…This book introduces programs (global, national, and local) that may help move humanity forward to meeting the challenges of the near-future, which is fast approaching. Humanity will need people with solid science rigor in all dimensions; they will need people who are creative, collaborative, conscientious and woke… READ MORE-Shalin Hai-Jew for C2C Digital Magazine (Spring/Summer 2021), Instructional Designer, Kansas State University 

“This book could not have been published at a more opportune time. Given the pandemic of 2020 and the constant barrage of statistics and mixed messages from politicians who tell us they have been ‘guided by the science’; this collection of 19 wide-ranging, excellent chapters offers the kind of critical analysis that the public now crave. It truly is a book for citizens of our newly-changed 21st century.” -Jerry Wellington, University of Sheffield, UK

“This stimulating book guides the reader through a wide range of important problem areas such as innovative approaches to teaching science and mathematics, inclusive schools, interdisciplinary approaches with technology, the STEM agenda or new ways of students´ assessment.” -António Cachapuz, Aveiro University, Portugal

“This book is very exciting and breathtaking for science and mathematics educators because it covers all the new developments of the 21st century together. Especially taking into account teachers’ emotions in the teaching has brought a new sense to science teaching books. Innovative strategies for science teaching has excited me and I think it will be very helpful for educators.” -Neslihan Ültay, Giresun University, Turkey

“Multiple pathways are examined to address a wide range of pressing challenges that impinge specifically on Science and Mathematics Education. These challenges for 21st century education are comprehensively addressed throughout this book. Authors have identified and provide approaches, offering innovative and inclusive strategies that respond to the needs of a rapidly changing world.” -Christine Redman, University of Melbourne, Australia

“This book may lead teachers to develop new strategies for teaching mathematics and science and learners to become scientific thinkers, which is one of the most important challenges for the future.” -Davide Parmigiani, University of Genoa, Italy; President of the Association for Teacher Education in Europe

“This book presents a lively and exciting collection of research and practice for science and mathematics educators at all levels! I found it fascinating, particularly the passion of many of the authors coming through in the chapters. Inclusion of primary science and mathematics is another delight, omitted in many similar texts. I learned a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!” -Colette Murphy, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Ireland

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