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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Research Group: Mathematics, Science and Health Education Research Centre

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Southampton's Mathematics, Science and Health Education (MSHE) Research Centre is committed to building on its internationally excellent and world-leading reputation for research in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. For our most up-to-date events and activities, visit our blog: blog.soton.ac.uk/mshe/ 

Director of the Centre

Its expert staff are conducting research and developing theory to address a variety of significant questions arising in policy, practice and academic knowledge in MSHE areas.

The Centre’s aim is to sustain national and international recognition as a centre of excellence in research, to create new knowledge through research and to provide a base for international research and collaboration.

The Centre is also committed to:

  • Expanding interdisciplinary research collaboration
  • Facilitating the training of MSHE students
  • Designing, developing and evaluating curriculum resources for classroom teaching and learning in mathematics, science and health education
  • Evaluating teachers' professional development, its effectiveness and impact on students and teachers in mathematics, science and health education
  • Exploring students’ conceptual understanding of early mathematics, reasoning skills, computational thinking, and emotional and social development
  • Exploring STEM engagement including the links between science and health literacy
  • Investigating the use of digital technologies as pedagogical tools and new technologies for teaching and learning in mathematics, science and health education

As well as expanding its research into STEM subjects with a focus on mathematics and science education, the Centre will also be driving forward new research in the area of health education.

Research Projects

enGasia project

Summary of the project

In international comparisons for mathematics like PISA and TIMSS, Asia outperforms England considerably. For geometry this difference is even greater. With a new maths curriculum coming into play in England in 2014, this project aims to compare geometry education in England, Japan and Hong Kong and to find out how an interactive electronic book could improve geometry teaching. Based on specific characteristics of the participating countries two digital resources (electronic books) will be designed. They are then implemented in classrooms in those countries. The methodology will include a more qualitative approach based on lesson observations and a quasi-experimental element. The results of this will be disseminated in several publications, public workshops and a dedicated weblog. The proposed project will result in a close collaborative network between England, Japan and Hong Kong.

Phases of the project

There are three research phases in the methodology for this project:

  1. Identifying the challenges to be resolved by ICT by getting a clear picture of the contextual factors in the three participating countries.
  2. Designing two interactive 20 page electronic textbooks on mutually agreed topic of 2D geometry for 12-16 yr olds toward addressing these challenges.
  3. Examining the effect of the electronic textbooks by implementing the digital resources in one HK, JP and ENG classroom per annum. The methodology will consist of a combination of: (i) lesson observations along the lines of the TIMSS 1999 video study and Lesson Study (Stigler & Hiebert, 1999) and (ii) a quasi-experimental approach.

The project was conducted from 2014 to 2017.

Towards a School Mathematics Project 2.0

The School Mathematics Project was an iconic project from the 60s and later on by the University of Southampton. Recently the archive and copyright of these materials returned to our university. This ESRC impact project will explore whether and how we can revive these quality resources and explore how we can transform SMP into an SMP 2.0. The project has four aims. First, it will map and digitise key parts of the archive. Second, it will map the archive against the current KS3 and KS4 curriculum. Third, it will collect and evaluate views on the SMP materials. Finally, these three aims will then culminate in a feasibility report. Is it feasible to breathe new life in the original project, and create new versions of the textbooks, integrating a firm research component. The project is a collaboration between the Southampton Education School, three schools in the region, and the Mathematics department. The project will have substantial user engagement, genuine collaboration and co-design with classroom practitioners. Principal Investigator is Dr. Christian Bokhove.

Project is ongoing. Find out more on the project website.

World Class Maths: two online courses with publisher MacMillan 

World Class Maths: two online courses with publisher MacMillan

The Southampton Education School  has developed two online courses on Asian Mathematics with MacMillan.

Asian Maths Teaching Methods

World Class Maths Practice

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