IncluSMe Intercultural learning in mathematics and science education

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IncluSMe (Intercultural learning in mathematics and science education) offers a constructive contribution for tackling one of Europe’s greatest challenges: education for an increasing number of refugee and immigrant youth, to integrate them in European educational systems and to provide for stable, socially cohesive societies. The project aims at increasing the quality of higher education curricula for prospective maths and science teachers by linking mathematics and science education with intercultural learning – and thereby strengthening students’ social, civic and intercultural competences. At the heart of IncluSMe is the design and implementation of open access teaching modules about intercultural learning for prospective mathematics and science teachers.

IncluSMe (Intercultural learning in mathematics and science initial teacher education) focuses on increasing the quality of the initial teacher education (ITE) of prospective mathematics and science teachers by including intercultural learning into their curricula. Prospective mathematics and science teachers need to learn how to cope with language barriers, culturally different pre-concepts about science and highly varying proficiencies of (immigrant) students to be prepared to tackle the challenges of their future profession.

In turn, mathematics and science competences are crucial for civic participation, academic and professional success, not only for students with diverse backgrounds, but for all. If comprehension and communication problems, resulting from language barriers or cultural differences, are not addressed, students with immigrant background may perform poorly in mathematics and science. To secure educational opportunities for immigrant and refugee youth, it is essential to include intercultural aspects in the initial education of mathematics and science teachers.

Thus, the IncluSMe project aims at improving the relevance of higher education curricula for prospective mathematics and science teachers by linking mathematics and science education with intercultural learning – and thereby strengthening students’ social, civic and intercultural competences.

At the heart of the project is the design and implementation of related open access teaching modules, meant to facilitate intercultural learning for prospective mathematics and science teachers. These modules are purposefully designed (flexible structure, modular, user guidance) so that they can be easily used in existing university courses and curricula. Thus, the connectivity of the developed materials is ensured and paves the way for updated curricula in mathematics and science ITE.

By offering international summer schools and multiplier events, IncluSMe strengthens transnational cooperation among universities in establishing mobility programmes for mathematics and science students in ITE.

The main target group of the project are university teachers of mathematics and science ITE, in particular those concerned with higher education curriculum development and/or student mobility. They integrate the higher education modules created within the project into their regular university courses. Other target groups are enablers of student mobility and policy makers.

The project brings together 11 teams of higher education institutions for ITE from across Europe comprising experts in mathematics and science education, inclusion and diversity, and mobility and intercultural learning, as well as people involved in pilot projects for refugees.

Basic information

Country: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden

Coordinator: International Centre for STEM Education (ICSE), http://icse.eu/

Partners:
  • University of Nicosia, Cyprus
  • University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
  • University of Jaen, Spain
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
  • Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • University of Malta, Malta
  • Utrecht University, Netherlands
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Jönköping University, Sweden
  • Constantine the Philosopher University, Slovakia

Programme: Erasmus+

Project Acronym:

Target groups: education authorities, general public, policy makers, university students, university lecturers

Topic: Anthropology, Applied sciences, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Engineering, Environmental sciences, Gender in STEM, Maths, Education, Other

Start year: 2016

End year: 2019

Url: http://inclusme-project.eu/

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Katja Maaß, Email icse (at) ph-freiburg.de

IncluSMe aims to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Increase the quality of higher education;
  • Improve the relevance of higher education curricula for prospective mathematics and science teachers by linking pedagogy in mathematics and science with intercultural learning;
  • Strengthen prospective teachers’ social, civic and intercultural competences;
  • Equip prospective teachers with the skills to deal with challenges of multicultural classrooms;
  • Promote student mobility to enable first-hand intercultural experiences;
  • Strengthen transnational cooperation among universities in establishing mobility programmes for maths and science students in ITE.

GUIDELINES

Based on standards and references about Teacher Qualifications and Intercultural Education, IncluSMe offers a set of guidelines to support the design of high-quality learning environment for Initial Teacher Education (ITE), with a special emphasis on the improvement of science and mathematics learning in culturally diverse classrooms. The guidelines are organised according to three main domains: content, methods and resources.

HIGHER EDUCATION TEACHING MODULES

At the heart of the project is design and implementation of related open access teaching modules, to facilitate intercultural learning for prospective mathematics and science teachers. These modules are purposefully designed (flexible structure, modular, user guidance) so that they can be easily used in existing university courses and curricula. Thus, the connectivity of the developed materials is ensured and paves the way for updated curricula in mathematics and science ITE.

At the heart of the project is the design and implementation of open access teaching modules on intercultural learning for prospective mathematics and science teachers. These modules are purposefully designed (flexible structure, modular, user guidance) so that they can be easily used in existing university courses and curricula. Piloting and peer review of the modules ensure high quality.

Two international summer schools give prospective teachers the opportunity to experience interculturality first-hand. Two international and four national multiplier events support the dissemination of the project’s results.

The main target group of the project is university teachers in mathematics and science ITE, in particular those concerned with higher education curriculum development and/or student mobility. They will integrate the higher education modules created within the project into their regular university courses. Other target groups are enablers of student mobility and policy makers.

List of open access teaching modules:

  • Introduction to culture and diversity for prospective mathematics and science teachers
  • Culture-related contexts for mathematics and science
  • Different cultures – different approaches to reasoning and algorithms in mathematics
  • Socio-scientific issues (SSI)
  • Different perspectives on current ecological problems
  • Pedagogical approaches to mathematics and science teaching in diverse classrooms
  • Dealing with deficiencies and excellence in the mathematics proficiency of immigrant pupils
  • Relevance of language in mathematics education
  • Relevance of language in science education
  • Intercultural mathematics learning outside of school
  • Intercultural science learning outside of school
  • Assessment in mathematics and science in multicultural contexts
  • Accompanying prospective teachers in intercultural experiences

 

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