Date of Award

5-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

College/School

College of Science and Mathematics

Department/Program

Mathematical Sciences

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Mika Munakata

Committee Member

Erin E. Krupa

Committee Member

Soo Jin Lee

Subject(s)

Mathematics teachers, Mathematics teachers--Attitudes, Science teachers, Science teachers--Attitudes, Mathematics--Study and teaching (Middle school), Science--Study and teaching (Middle school), Interdisciplinary approach in education

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the nature of mathematics and science connections made by sixth and seventh grade mathematics and science teachers in their classrooms. This study also examined the extent to which these connections represented mathematics and science integration and described the teachers’ perceptions of and attitudes about mathematics and science integration. The primary data sources included classroom observations and teacher interviews.

Findings suggested that teacher practices in making mathematics and science connections in the classroom incorporated many of the characteristics of integrated instruction presented in the literature. Teacher attitudes toward integration were found to be generally positive and supportive of integrated instruction. Mathematics teachers shared a common perception of integration being two separate lessons taught together in one lesson. In contrast, science teachers perceived integration to be a seamless blend of the two disciplines. The researcher related these perceptions and attitudes to the teachers’ past experiences with mathematics and science connections and integration, and also to their practices of mathematics and science connections in the study.

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