Multiplicative Thinking: A Necessary STEM Foundation

Siemon, D, Banks, N and Prasad, S 2019, 'Multiplicative Thinking: A Necessary STEM Foundation' in Tasos Barkatsos, Nicky Carr, Grant Cooper (ed.) STEM Education An Emerging Field of Inquiry, Koninklijke Brill NV, Netherlands, pp. 74-100.


Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title Multiplicative Thinking: A Necessary STEM Foundation
Author(s) Siemon, D
Banks, N
Prasad, S
Year 2019
Title of book STEM Education An Emerging Field of Inquiry
Publisher Koninklijke Brill NV
Place of publication Netherlands
Editor(s) Tasos Barkatsos, Nicky Carr, Grant Cooper
Start page 74
End page 100
Subjects Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Summary Across the science, technology and engineering fields there is very little of any substance that can be achieved without the capacity to recognise, represent and reason about relationships between quantities, that is, to think multiplicatively. However, recent research has found that at least 25% and up to 55% of Australian Year 8 students are not demonstrating a capacity for multiplicative thinking. This helps explain the decline in the relative performance of Australian students on international assessments of mathematics and the significant decline in the proportion of Year 12 students undertaking the more advanced mathematics courses. But the data also reveal significant inequities in that students from low socioeconomic communities are far more likely to be represented in the 45 to 55% range than students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds who are more likely to be represented in the 25 to 35% range. This situation is untenable where the fastest growing employment opportunities require some form of STEM qualification. The chapter presents evidence from two large scale research projects to make a case for focussing on identifying and responding appropriately to students' learning needs in relation to multiplicative thinking as a key priority in STEM education.
Copyright notice Copyright © 2019 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Keyword(s) Multiplicative thinking
learning progressions
targeted teaching
formative assessment
quantitative reasoning
ISBN 9789004391383
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