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Paper: RE-NUMERATE: A Workshop to Restore Essential Numerical Skills and Thinking via Astronomy Education
Volume: 473, Communicating Science
Page: 79
Authors: McCarthy, D.; Follette, K.
Abstract: The quality of science teaching for all ages is degraded by our students' gross lack of skills in elementary arithmetic and their unwillingness to think, and to express themselves, numerically. Out of frustration educators, and science communicators, often choose to avoid these problems, thereby reinforcing the belief that math is only needed in “math class” and preventing students from maturing into capable, well informed citizens. In this sense we teach students a pseudo science, not its real nature, beauty, and value. This workshop encourages and equips educators to immerse students in numerical thinking throughout a science course. The workshop begins by identifying common deficiencies in skills and attitudes among non-science collegians (freshman-senior) enrolled in General Education astronomy courses. The bulk of the workshop engages participants in well-tested techniques (e.g., presentation methods, curriculum, activities, mentoring approaches, etc.) for improving students' arithmetic skills, increasing their confidence, and improving their abilities in numerical expression. These techniques are grounded in 25+ years of experience in college classrooms and pre-college informal education. They are suited for use in classrooms (K–12 and college), informal venues, and science communication in general and could be applied across the standard school curriculum.
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