Science and math

Scientific contents offer the possibility for realistic teaching. Concrete physical or biological correlations may initiate mathematic activities and lead to authentic experiences. Mathematic contents and methods are apprehended in reasonable contexts; reality of pupils may be extended by mathematical understanding. Various realistic references lead to different models and may so contribute to distinction of conceptual attributes and of different models. The variety of scientific phenomena allows open terms of references and so self-dependent development of mathematics. Mathematic items, e.g. the concept of function, may be experienced as modelling tools. The coherences of meanings and the differing attributes may be detected within various realistic references.

Scientific experiments are an encouraging approach in interdisciplinary learning of mathematics. The instruction may consist of the following: collecting of data out of an experiment, development and investigation of a mathematic model in different representation forms and reflection on the mathematic content of the model. Taking experiments as basis the pupils will have to chose variables and representation forms and set them into correlation. The extension to scientific connections creates a setting for the pupils that challenges justified analyses, authentic experiences and variation between different representation forms. The table e. g. is first of all a model of data collection and becomes later a model for the discussion about the functional relation between the recorded sizes.

A special advantage of experiments relates to the learning of mathematic concepts. In connection e.g. to the concept of function the experimental steps correspond to the different stages of learning the concept: If a running car is watched while the covered distance is measured at certain points of time the aspect of mapping may be realized. The aspect of covariation, here: the concurrent change of distance and time, can be experienced by watching the stopwatch while the car is going along a staff.