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standards in both science and mathematics encourage connecting school
work with experiences outside the classroom. The 1999 SCIMAST Winter
Meeting emphasized science concepts more than mathematical. Mathematics,
however, could have been the focus of the experience: The measurements
of the beach could have been taken back to a classroom for comparison
and charting. Creatures and plants sampled from the water could
have been weighed and measured and these measurements could have
been used to develop theories about the conditions in various parts
of the ecosystem.
The following excerpts show how the standards connect classroom
and field experiences.
National Research Council (1996). National Science Education
Standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
p. 43
Teaching Standard D: Teachers of science design and manage learning
environments that provide students with the time, space, and resources
needed for learning science. In doing this teachers...identify and
use resources outside the school.
Time, space, and materials are critical components of an effective
science learning environment that promotes sustained inquiry and
understanding. Creating an adequate environment for science teaching
is a shared responsibility. Teachers lead the way in the design
and use of resources, but school administrators, students, parents,
and community members must meet their responsibility to ensure that
the resources are available to be used.... appropriate use of scientific
institutions and resources in the local community requires the participation
of the school and those institutions and individuals.
p. 45
The classroom is a limited environment. The school science program
must extend beyond the walls of the school to the resources of the
community. Our nation's communities have many specialists, including
those in transportation, healthcare delivery, communications, computer
technologies, music, art, cooking, mechanics, and many other fields
that have scientific aspects. Specialists often are available as
resources for classes and for individual students. Many communities
have access to science centers and museums, as well as to the science
communities in higher education, national laboratories, and industry;
these can contribute greatly to the understanding of science and
encourage students to further their interests outside of school.
In addition, the physical environment in and around the school can
be used as a living laboratory for the study of natural phenomena.
Whether the school is located in a densely populated urban area,
a sprawling suburb, a small town, or a rural area, the environment
can and should be used as a resource for science study. Working
with others in their school and with the community, teachers build
these resources into their work with students.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (1989). Curriculum
and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM.
p. 84
In grades 58, the mathematics curriculum should include
the investigation of mathematical connections so that students can...apply
mathematical thinking and modeling to solve problems that arise
in other disciplines, such as art, music, psychology, science, and
business; value the role of mathematics in our culture and society.
Students should have many opportunities to observe the interaction
of mathematics with other school subjects and with everyday society.
To accomplish this, mathematics teachers must seek and gain the
active participation of teachers of other disciplines in exploring
mathematical ideas through problems that arise in their classes.
This integration of mathematics into contexts that give its symbols
and processes practical meaning is an overarching goal of all the
standards....
p. 85
This persistent attention to recognizing and drawing
connections among topics will instill in students an expectation
that the ideas they learn are useful in solving other problems and
exploring other mathematical concepts.... Curriculum materials can
foster an attitude in students that will encourage them to look
for connections, but teachers must also look for opportunities to
help students make mathematical connections.
p. 86
"Connected" mathematics should not be disconnected from students'
daily lives....As students in grades 58 become aware of the world
around them, probability and statistics become increasingly important
connections between the real world and the mathematics classroom.
Weather forecasting, scientific experiments, advertising claims,
chance events, and economic trends are but a few of the areas in
which students can investigate the role of mathematics in our society.
Statistics offer students insights into problems of social equity.
Perspective, proportion, and the golden ratio are ways of learning
mathematics in the context of art and design. Whatever the context,
a vital role of mathematics education is to instill in students
an attitude of inquiry and investigation and a sensitivity to the
many interrelationships between formal mathematics and the real
world.
