Presentation Title

Being an Ambassador for Mathematics and Science

Location

Room 2905 A

Session Format

Paper Presentation

Research Area Topic:

Education & Learning - STEM Education

Abstract

Higher education faculty often teaches in isolation with very little collegial interaction guiding their practice even though the higher education climate today embraces the ideas of interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration. The author was invited as a guest lecturer to four history, three economics, and two chemistry classes at a regional university. This article examines students' experiences and perceptions of the guest lecturer who presented the historical development of mathematical and scientific concepts by emphasizing various civilizations and individual contributions in conjunction with real-world applications. Data for this study was collected through anonymous class evaluations from 210 student responses. The paper examines students' experiences in an effort to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the guest-teaching approach from the students' perspective. The findings in this study suggest that guest-teaching can facilitate student learning through the generation of interest and exposure to mathematical and scientific concepts in a stress free environment. Demonstrating how people historically learned, made mistakes and made progress helped students to understand the process of scientific thinking and what it takes to be a scientist. Students were also happy to find some answers to the frequently asked question: “When am I ever going to use mathematics or science?” The most important outcome of this study was to see several students’ kindled curiosity about science, mathematics, and technology along with their desire to pursue a career in STEM.

Keywords

STEM, Motivation, Mathematics, Guest-teaching

Presentation Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

Start Date

4-24-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

4-24-2015 5:00 PM

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Apr 24th, 4:00 PM Apr 24th, 5:00 PM

Being an Ambassador for Mathematics and Science

Room 2905 A

Higher education faculty often teaches in isolation with very little collegial interaction guiding their practice even though the higher education climate today embraces the ideas of interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration. The author was invited as a guest lecturer to four history, three economics, and two chemistry classes at a regional university. This article examines students' experiences and perceptions of the guest lecturer who presented the historical development of mathematical and scientific concepts by emphasizing various civilizations and individual contributions in conjunction with real-world applications. Data for this study was collected through anonymous class evaluations from 210 student responses. The paper examines students' experiences in an effort to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the guest-teaching approach from the students' perspective. The findings in this study suggest that guest-teaching can facilitate student learning through the generation of interest and exposure to mathematical and scientific concepts in a stress free environment. Demonstrating how people historically learned, made mistakes and made progress helped students to understand the process of scientific thinking and what it takes to be a scientist. Students were also happy to find some answers to the frequently asked question: “When am I ever going to use mathematics or science?” The most important outcome of this study was to see several students’ kindled curiosity about science, mathematics, and technology along with their desire to pursue a career in STEM.