Quantitative Reasoning and Its Role in Interdisciplinarity

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Contribution to Book

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Publication Title

Interdisciplinary Mathematics Education




The Real Science, Technology, Engineering Mathematics (STEM) Project was conducted in middle schools and high schools in Georgia, USA. The project supported the development of interdisciplinary STEM modules and courses in over 20 schools. A project focus was development of five 21st century STEM reasoning abilities. In this chapter, I provide classroom activities from the Real STEM project that exemplify each form of reasoning: complex systems; model-based; computational; engineering design-based; and quantitative reasoning. Quantitative reasoning plays a critical role in authentic real-world interdisciplinary STEM problems, providing the tools to construct data informed arguments specific to the problem context, which can be debated, verified or refuted, modeled mathematically and tested against reality. Yet quantitative reasoning is often misrepresented, underdeveloped, and ignored in STEM classrooms. The chapter finishes with a discussion of the impact of Real STEM.


© The Author(s) 2019

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