Bholoa A., Walshe G., Ramma Y. (2017) Curriculum Implications of the Integration of Mathematics into Science. In: Taber K.S., Akpan B. (eds) Science Education. New Directions in Mathematics and Science Education. SensePublishers, Rotterdam.
This chapter examines the curricular aspects of integrating mathematics into science. It looks at the importance of mathematics in science, the benefits of integrating mathematics and science, the variety of models of curriculum design that can underpin their integration and a case study of this integration in a teacher training institute. The close relationship between mathematics and science has long been recognized. Galileo once said that ‘Nature is written in mathematical language’. Newton, who was as much a mathematician as a scientist, pioneered the use of calculus to support his understanding of motion. The study of genomics depends on quantifying massive amounts of biological data, while understanding changes in the environment, such as the relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, depends on the development of mathematical models by scientists for the prediction of climate change. This draws our attention to the fact that it is often not possible to carry out scientific inquiry without quantifying findings using the language of mathematics, its notations, equations and procedures. Almost all branches of science are becoming increasingly mathematical, ranging from bioinformatics to the development and testing of pharmaceuticals, and the investigation of the solar system in astronomy.
Ramma Y., Bholoa A., Oogarah-Pratap B. (2017) Research Perspectives and Skills for Science Education. In: Taber K.S., Akpan B. (eds) Science Education. New Directions in Mathematics and Science Education. SensePublishers, Rotterdam.
In this chapter we examine the extent to which research in science education can improve teaching and learning of science, in particular physics and mathematics in schools. The advancement of scientific knowledge, conceptual understanding and skills are important elements for the development of critical minds in learners. There is ample evidence that the traditional teacher-centered approach to teaching and learning science still prevails despite the wealth of data from research in science education about the benefits of adopting a learner-centered approach. We further contend that teachers have a major role to play in situating the existing schemas of learners with the intention to facilitating learners’ knowledge-acquisition and knowledge-construction processes. Teaching (good teaching) is considered to be an art, while learning relates to a process which encapsulates the intrinsic element referred to as reflection or as Schön (1987) puts it – reflection-in-action. To be able to reflect purposefully and to drive their thinking towards a specific goal, teachers have to possess a strong knowledge base (content knowledge – CK), in addition to pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and curricular knowledge (Shulman, 1986). Furthermore, by being engaged in critical thinking and reflection, teachers develop connections between content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in a bid to establish concepts as an interconnected web of processes. Teaching and learning science as discrete packets of information is doomed to become meaningless as many learners concentrate more on learning ‘recipes for examination success’ without making the effort to develop understanding of the underlying concepts.
Ramma, Y., Bholoa, A., Watts, M., & Nadal P. S. (2017). Teaching and learning of physics using technology: Making a case for the affective domain. Education Inquiry, 9(2), 210-236.
Even though its importance is underscored in many research pursuits, attention to the affective domain in learning is often neglected at the expense of the cognitive development of students studying science, in particular physics. In this paper we propose a framework, the pedagogical technological integrated medium (PTIM) founded on the TPACK model, that builds on the existing premises of pedagogy, content and technology to make space for the affective domain where these three premises intersect with each other. We operationalize the PTIM framework through a multi-loop model that explores the affective dimension as an overarching space for interaction among learners, teachers and parents through a series of stages encompassing home tasks, as well as classroom and out-of-school activities. Within the qualitative paradigm, we substantiate from two case studies, an exploratory and an evaluative one in two different schools, that a succinct synchronisation of these various interactive elements promotes knowledge construction springing from the affective domain in terms of motivation, interest and values and also from their inter-relationships.
Ramma, Y., & Bholoa, A. (2018). A critical evaluation of a Teacher Professional Development model – A case study of a physics pre-service teacher. In S. Ladage & S. Narvekar (Eds.), Proceedings of epiSTEME 7 — International Conference to Review Research on Science, Technology and Mathematics Education, p. 285-293. India: Cinnamon Teal.
Teaching and learning physics is a challenging endeavour, especially for trainee teachers embarking on the Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme at the local pedagogical training institute. Trainee teachers are required to reflect on and review their existing physics content knowledge during the process of acquisition of pedagogical content knowledge. As a result of the firmly held teaching belief and misconceptions about certain physics concepts, the physics content knowledge of the trainees are problematic. This paper makes an attempt, through the case study of a pre-service physics trainee, to evaluate a teacher professional development (TPD) model whilst critically examining the learning and teaching journeys of that trainee. The data constitute illustrative insights on some physics concepts from her continuous assessments and final examination. The TPD model shows potential in improving content and pedagogical content knowledge of the trainee which nevertheless need to be nurtured for effective teaching and learning.
Bholoa, A. & Ramma, Y. (2019). Mathematics and Science Education in B. Akpan (Ed.), Science Education: Visions of the Future, 117-132. Next Generation Education, Abuja
The major themes of 21st century skills include work and life skills, learning and innovation skills and digital literacies embedded in STEM and interdisciplinary education. Standard and traditional school practices are inadequate for preparing students for the mathematical and scientific needs of the 21st century. Ton develop effective new mathematics and science curricula encompassing the 21st century learning requirements, one must attempt to foresee the mathematical and scientific needs ot tomorrow’s students. In this chapter, we study the patterns in mathematics and science teaching and learning to project, as best we can, 50 years into the future. We outline some future-ready mathematical and science content that is taught in graduate courses currently, but we believe that some preparatory sessions would be taught in lower classes in the near future. The Thinking Process Model and the Teacher Professional Development Model are proposed as guides as well as the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge.
Bholoa, A., Ramma, Y., Akaloo, N., Beefun, R., Hurreeram, N. (2020). Evolution of moral values and ethics in trades and businesses since independence in Mauritius (Chapter 7) Edwar Elgar Pub.
The business environment in Mauritius has evolved considerably since the country gained independence in 1968. Earlier, small- scale businesses and trades were mainly driven by trust and moral values established among the business holders and customers. These moral values were mostly drawn from values, beliefs and the religious faiths of traders and customers from four religious communities – Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists. Moral values primarily guided transparency and honest practices for ethical transactional decisions and ensured that cases of unethical conduct were almost non-existent. With globalization, the principle of ethical trade has seen a shift toward reliance on codes of conduct to drive business transactions. Yet globalization has also brought about undesirable effects and risks that currently confront businesses. This chapter reflects, through a case study approach, on the evolution of business ethics and moral values in Mauritius. It aims to investigate the changing nature of management and decision-making processes within businesses with particular insights into the core values of trust, honesty and respect. It additionally explores how three pillars – religious values, women’s emancipation and digital business transformation – have influenced the underlying principles of ethics and values in business.
Oogarah-Pratap B., Bholoa A., Ramma Y. (2020) Stage Theory of Cognitive Development—Jean Piaget. In: Akpan B., Kennedy T.J. (eds) Science Education in Theory and Practice. Springer Texts in Education. Springer, Cham.
This chapter outlines Piaget’s Stage Theory of Cognitive Development and its application in a teacher training institute involving graduate physics trainee teachers predicted to operate at the formal operational stage. It is presumed that, at this stage, having assimilated and accommodated logical understanding from the concrete stage, the trainees have a good articulation of theoretical, combinatorial and proportional reasoning. In this study, an attempt has been made to investigate this hypothesis through a case study involving six physics trainee teachers. The trainees were assigned a written task on the motion of a golf ball after which they were required to verbalise their reasoning patterns during individual oral presentations. The trainees demonstrated adequate theoretical reasoning but lacked combinatorial and proportional reasoning patterns. We opine that teacher training institutions should design programmes that make provision for the interconnection of concrete and formal operational stages into a cyclical mode so as to promote reflective practices in trainees.
Ramma Y., Bholoa A., Watts M. (2020) Guided Discovery—Robert Gagné. In: Akpan B., Kennedy T.J. (eds) Science Education in Theory and Practice. Springer Texts in Education. Springer, Cham.
Teachers are widely acknowledged to play an indispensable role in enabling learners to construct purposeful knowledge structures while being engaged in carefully structured learning activities. However, many studies have reported that learners’ understanding and construction of scientific knowledge at secondary school level is truly a challenging endeavour particularly when teachers themselves hold misconceptions that act as barriers for effective facilitation of knowledge. Although well-organised instructions from the teacher can support the learning process, instructional and learning theories from various theoretical perspectives have been developed to enhance the effectiveness of that process. The scope of this chapter is, however, limited to Gagné’s cognitive learning theory that can guide the instructional processes as learners develop understanding and skills to solve problems associated with a system of ‘connected particles’. Gagne’s theory includes a set of cognitive activities divided into five taxonomies: the use of verbal information, intellectual skills, motor skills, cognitive skills and attitude. In addition to these domains of learning, Gagné emphasises nine events of instruction that encompass all three of Bloom’s domains of knowledge. The nine events of instruction include gaining attention, informing objectives, stimulating recall of prior knowledge, presenting the materials, providing guidance, eliciting performance, providing feedback, assessing performance and enhancing retention of concepts. Basically, this chapter outlines how an in-service secondary mathematics teacher operationalises Gagné’s theory in a simulated classroom environment during the peer-microteaching course. Although the teacher planned and implemented her lesson guided by clear lesson objectives, it was observed that she did not manage to successfully accomplish the interplay among the cognitive activities and the events of instruction. Teachers, teacher educators and policymakers may find this chapter useful to inform implementation of Gagné’s theory in classroom instruction.
Oozeerally S., Ramma Y., Bholoa A. (2020) Multiliteracies—New London Group. In: Akpan B., Kennedy T.J. (eds) Science Education in Theory and Practice. Springer Texts in Education. Springer, Cham.
Developed by the New London Group in 1996 and based on the premise of hybridity, the concept of multiliteracies is deeply embedded in the paradigmatic changes brought about in languages by the advent and expansion of technology and virtualisation. In the same line as multiliteracies, new perspectives in language sciences converge towards complexity, multimodality and related concepts that question and redefine traditional and monolithic conceptions of the written text as the only admissible form of linguistic manifestation. In this chapter, we explore multiliteracies by drawing parallels between language studies and the teaching and learning of science, in particular physics. We investigate the extent to which physics trainee teachers display multiliteracy skills in their teaching–learning experience, focussing on their conceptual knowledge and understanding of the physics concept of free fall. Linguistic communication, action, visualisation and physics conceptual understanding form the components of the multiliteracy competencies. The trainee teachers manifested limited multiliteracy competencies as they experienced difficulties to articulate and to represent their ideas about physics concepts. We argue for an experience-driven, multimodal and multilliteracies-based conception of physics that goes beyond text-centrism. The task of the trainee teacher is not limited to only exploit, navigate and negotiate with multiliterate competencies, but also to solicit diverse linguistic repertoires in the (co)construction of knowledge through active meaning-making.