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Structuring a Science-Mathematics Partnership to Support Preservice Teachers' Data Analysis and Interpretation Skills

Journal of College Science Teaching—May/June 2015

As science teacher educators attempt to prepare teachers to underscore the aims of the Next Generation Science Standards alongside the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, they must pay close attention to the intersection of these two content areas. To address this challenge, the authors (a science educator and mathematics educator) created an experience for preservice teachers (PSTs) to learn and apply core concepts and processes of mathematics and science within our methods courses. Specifically, this was a concerted effort to support PSTs’ data analysis and interpretation skills within the context of scientific inquiry. In the unit described, codeveloped and implemented in a mathematics and science methods course, elementary PSTs are provided with clear scaffolds to apply their developing knowledge of data analysis and interpretation to a scientific inquiry. This integrated unit showcases one way teacher preparation programs can support PSTs’ understanding of how to analyze and interpret data and their ability to teach it in their future classrooms. As we make concerted efforts to address the new national standards, teacher educators must model strategic interdisciplinary planning and curriculum to make authentic connections across subject areas.
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