As Norfolk State University has been considering how to adequately prepare students to teach the challenging new mathematics and science called for the Virginia Standards of Learning , we have reached the conclusion that the student programs need to provide interdisciplinary experiences linking mathematics and science. We reached the conclusion for two reasons. First, even with the larger number of courses called for in the new licensure regulations, there are not enough course hours available to teach all of the different mathematics and science topics that future teachers need to have studied. Second, elementary and middle school students do not study science and mathematics organized in the same way as these topics are organized in universities. Rather, students are interested in, and study, broader topics such as the working of the human body or the structure of a broad ecological system. In order for teachers to teach these subjects in this way, making use of the appropriate mathematics behind these structures, they must have themselves studied these topics in this manner. The new course, Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Science, that has been developed at Norfolk State University, provides students with an interdisciplinary background, then requires each student to study a broad interdisciplinary topic as a member of a team, and then to prepare oral and written presentations on this topic. The course, and the experience of students with this course, will be described in this paper.
© Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
McNeil, P. E.
"A New Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Science Course,"
Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations: Vol. 2
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jmsce_vamsc/vol2/iss2/8