Integrating Mathematics and Science Methods Classes With an Afterschool STEM Club

Integrating Mathematics and Science Methods Classes With an Afterschool STEM Club

Rachael Eriksen Brown (Pennsylvania State University – Abington, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6249-8.ch018


This chapter describes a model of integrating an elementary mathematics methods course with an afterschool club in order to support pre-service teachers' development of a teaching practice. The goal of the model was to help pre-service teachers integrate theory and practice as well as begin to notice particular elements of a classroom and lesson. Details of the model, the course, and how the partnership with the elementary school was formed are shared. In addition, results from analyzing pre-service teachers' journal responses indicate most teachers focused on classroom management initially; however, writing shifted to focus on students' mathematical ideas and the purpose of play. Learnings with respect to teacher education as well as ideas for future research are discussed.
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The idea of using an after school venue for supporting field experiences is not entirely unique. Particularly in science education, researchers have explored informal settings and how they support PST development (e.g. Anderson, Lawson, Mayer-Smith, 2006; Chesebrough, 1994; Ferry, 1995; Jung & Tonso, 2006). Literature on these types of informal experiences merged with teacher education programs will be discussed followed by two ways to consider teacher development. These two ways are grounded in the premise of the informal field experience model shared here: merging theory and practice as well as teacher noticing. Thus, approaching teacher development through considering what PSTs experience through university coursework in terms of how closely and authentically the activities mimic actual teacher practice connects with the merge of theory and practice. Teacher development can also be approached through the construct of teacher noticing. The definition of noticing and the connection between noticing and development, particularly in the mathematics education field, is addressed.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Student Talk: The pedagogical phenomenon of listening to student ideas, arguments, and reasoning.

Cognitive Demand of a Task: The amount of thought needed to engage in a mathematical task.

STEM: Integrating multiple ideas in mathematics, science and/or computational literacy in a single activity.

Informal Field Experience: An experience for pre-service teachers that takes place in an alternative setting rather than a standard school day.

Number Talk: A short activity designed to elicit a variety of student strategies while solving a mental math problem.

Beebot: A robot designed to look like a bee with basic function buttons. See more at .

Play: The creativity and flexibility within mathematics. Often useful when initially engaging with a manipulative.

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