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Development Of An Integrated Learning Framework For Stem Learning

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

ERM Potpourri

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.470.1 - 11.470.11



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Paper Authors

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Veronica Burrows Arizona State University


Michael Oehrtman Arizona State University

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MICHAEL OEHRTMAN is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Arizona State University. He received his B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992, and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Oklahoma State University in 2002. His research interests include mathematics education, calculus learning, and teacher development.

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Anton Lawson Arizona State University

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ANTON LAWSON is Associate Director of the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology and Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D. in 1973 from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Lawson' s research centers on the nature and development of scientific reasoning patterns such as hypothetico-deductive, probabilistic, proportional, combinatorial, analogical and correlational reasoning. Major interests involve determination of factors that influence the development of these reasoning patterns during childhood and adolescence and determination of their relationship to each other and to scientific concept acquisition.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development of an Integrated Learning Framework for STEM Learning Abstract

As part of an NSF Math Science Partnership project targeting mathematics and science learning, our project is delivering a set of courses to high school mathematics and science teachers that integrates relevant mathematics, science, and engineering concepts and practice. These courses will promote conceptual competence in core content and key process behaviors in scientific inquiry, mathematical problem solving, and engineering design. A distinctive element of this effort is a commitment to design a coherent approach consistent with existing scholarship in the fields of STEM education. An early result of this effort has been the recognition by the project’s mathematics, science, and engineering faculty researchers of the need for an overarching learning framework that elucidates the commonalities, the distinctions, and the relationships between the learning and practice of mathematics, science and engineering. The starting point for development of this STEM learning framework is research on learning frameworks already developed by psychologists and by math, science, and engineering educators.

Preliminary work developing this framework has shown that although the process behaviors of mathematical problem solving, scientific method, and engineering design can be described using roughly similar overall frameworks, many elements of the frameworks do not map directly onto one another. We propose that clearly elaborating such similarities and differences in the process behavior frameworks for mathematics, science and engineering may illuminate difficulties in the integration of instruction for these fields. Further, we predict that by systematically engaging teachers in activities relating the nature of mathematics, science, and engineering practice over a long-term professional development experience, we will observe improvements in their ability to offer coherent mathematics and science programs in their schools leading to improved student preparation for STEM undergraduate programs.


While central process behaviors in mathematics (mathematical problem solving), science (the scientific method), and engineering (engineering design) exhibit significant similarities, and certainly utilize significantly overlapping concepts, beliefs, attitudes and tools, there are some obvious differences. The purpose of this paper is to begin an exploration into these similarities and differences, with the long-term goal of developing an overarching learning framework that elucidates the commonalities, the distinctions, and the relationships between the learning and practice of mathematics, science and engineering. Such a framework would ultimately support the improvement of both cognitive and affective student outcomes. For example, if teachers recognize and teach the similarities of mathematical problem solving, scientific inquiry and engineering design, mutual reinforcement and improved integration among these disciplines is supported, and in addition, a student can more easily see the value of each approach to her ‘home’ discipline. An additional value of such a framework would be in providing a structure for translating the results of disciplinary research on knowing and learning from within these

Burrows, V., & Oehrtman, M., & Lawson, A. (2006, June), Development Of An Integrated Learning Framework For Stem Learning Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--622

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