Dimitris Diamantidis – “Design for STEM in mathematics classroom”
Please read the success story
“STEM is all about integrating concepts and practices of S, T, E and M in a teaching method where learning emerges from the pathway that leads students to realistic research activity”
My name is Dimitris Diamantidis. I’m a teacher in secondary education in Greece. I teach mathematics. I’m working at the 2nd Experimental Junior High School of Athens.
I’m also working as a teacher educator in teacher training for digital tools. I have made a lot of material the last seven to ten years for this use; to educate and train teachers in Greek schools to use digital tools in teaching.
I’m, also, author of two textbooks of mathematics that are used in high schools. My studies are around mathematics; I have a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics, a Master’s degree in Mathematics Education and I’m, also, supporting my doctoral thesis on Teacher Training in Mathematics Education
The challenge emerged from a certain task that came up due to our school’s policy to design multidisciplinary lessons. Students are involved in such problems with realistic mathematics, so they are developing a relatively well-informed image around the use of mathematics in real-life situations.
The case is to engage students in investigation of a realistic problem.
It is crucial that the problem comes not only from the area of science or engineering, but from the area of socio-scientific research as well. A multidimensional yet approachable task is the perfect choice.
i.e. Is it feasible to use a bicycle in Athens in order to go to school every day? Which are the pros and cons? Is there a kind of balance to be adopted?
Students searched for the ‘difficult paths’ for cycling in Athens. Are there a lot of sloped tracks to follow in order to get to your school? Are there dangerous crossroads? How many schools are on hills, or near the highway?
Then they concentrated to their school and tried to estimate the time that was needed for students coming from different areas of Athens, to come to their school. Is there a large variation of time needed?
They made a survey on how many students use the metro to come to school and how many of them could use the bicycle instead.
Students have come to some interesting results, but they are still doing research reflecting on these results and refining their research plans and hypotheses. In particular, they used principles of applied research, on their own initiative.
The sure thing is that they know that there is not a unique answer to this task. The answer depends on each case.
They are thinking of making some kind of categorisation of the type of places of Athens that can be or cannot be in favor of the use of bicycle.
In order to design a course on STEM:
– select a theme that is near students’ interests, from the area of socio-scientific problems
– try to give them time to reflect on this challenge, they should discuss with each other before moving on
– help them wrap up their conclusions
– ask them to present their results in plenary
Questions for reflection:
- What kind of problems are suitable for STEM, in more detail?
- Which way this designing can be included in everyday school program?
- Is it feasible for research principles for students to be recon textualized in terms of a school discipline?