Measurement in Primary School Mathematics and Science Textbooks
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MeasurementPrimary educationTextbooksMathematics educationScience education
Montoro, A.B.; Aguayo-Arriagada, C.G.; Flores, P. Measurement in Primary School Mathematics and Science Textbooks. Mathematics 2021, 9, 2127. [https://doi.org/10.3390/math9172127]
SponsorshipMinistry of Science, Innovation and Universities (Spain) PGC2018-095765-B-I00
The STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) approach to education has acquired considerable prominence among teachers in recent years. Putting forward integrated proposals is nonetheless complex and many educators opt to implement the ones set out in textbooks. We consequently deemed it worthwhile to analyse how content common to mathematics and science is addressed in primary school textbooks with a view to determining whether the approaches adopted complement one another and are compatible with STEM education. More specifically, in light of the importance of measurement in both areas of learning and in everyday life, we describe the meaning of mass and volume found, in two publishers’ textbooks. Based on the components of the meaning of measurement and deploying content analysis techniques, we analysed the explanations and tasks set out in these mathematics and science books to identify the similarities and differences in the handling of those magnitudes in the two subjects. Our findings showed the proposals for teaching mass to pursue similar objectives in the earliest grades, addressing matters that could be included in STEM proposals. On the contrary, inconsistencies were detected in the distribution of volume measurement-related content, as well as in the strategies, units and tools used in the two areas.