International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education (Int J Sci Math Educ)

Publisher: Springer Verlag

Journal description

The objective of this journal is to publish original, fully peer-reviewed articles on a variety of topics and research methods in both science and mathematics education. The journal welcomes articles that address common issues in mathematics and science education and cross-curricular dimensions more widely. Specific attention will be paid to manuscripts written by authors whose native language is not English and the editors have made arrangements for support in re-writing where appropriate. Contemporary educators highlight the importance of viewing knowledge as context-oriented and not limited to one domain. This concurs with current curriculum reforms worldwide for interdisciplinary and integrated curricula. Modern educational practice also focuses on the use of new technology in assisting instruction which may be easily implemented into such an integrated curriculum. The journal welcomes studies that explore science and mathematics education from different cultural perspectives.

Current impact factor: 0.53

Impact Factor Rankings

Additional details

5-year impact 0.00
Cited half-life 4.30
Immediacy index 0.05
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.00
Website International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education website
Other titles International journal of science and mathematics education (Online), IJSME
ISSN 1571-0068
OCLC 53191065
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Springer Verlag

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    • Must link to publisher version
    • Set phrase to accompany link to published version (see policy)
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study aimed at identifying the levels of scientific reasoning of upper primary stage (grades 4–7) science teachers based on their use of a problem-solving strategy. The study sample (N=138; 32 % male and 68 % female) was randomly selected using stratified sampling from an original population of 437 upper primary school teachers. The scientific reasoning test was based on a problem-solving strategy and consisted of five parts (32 items) covering basic problem-solving skills. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to interpret the data. Results indicated that the level of scientific reasoning of these science teachers was high with significant gender differences (p≤0.05) on levels of scientific reasoning that favored the female teachers. The results also showed no significant differences (p>0.05) in scientific thinking among teachers with different experiences, qualifications, and specializations. These results support holding professional development courses for teachers to develop their scientific reasoning and thinking skills.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 05/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10763-015-9646-1
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    ABSTRACT: It is well established that teacher-student interactive talk is critically important in supporting students to reason and learn in science. Teachers’ discursive moves in responding to student input are keys to developing and supporting a rich vein of interactive discussion. While initiation-response-evaluation (IRE) sequences have been shown to dominate science classroom discourse patterns worldwide, teacher ‘prompts’ are important for opening up opportunities for reasoning and higher level learning. This paper describes the analysis of video sequences for five expert elementary teachers across three countries to develop a coding scheme for these teachers’ ‘discursive moves’ to guide and respond to student inputs, that unpacks more completely the strategies they use to develop interactive discussion. The analysis showed varied patterns of knowledge transaction, with teacher discursive moves serving three broad purposes: to elicit and acknowledge student responses, to clarify and to extend student ideas. The patterns of talk were also related to the dialogic-authoritative distinction in analysis of talk, to show that this distinction is only clear for particular types of expert practice. While the particular moves teachers use vary across parts of lessons we argue that they are revealing of teachers’ particular beliefs and of systemic constraints, and that there exist patterns in the use of the discursive categories that capture how expert teachers build deeper level knowledge in classroom interactive talk. We describe ways in which the analysis can inform science teacher education and the professional learning of teachers of science.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 04/2015; 13(2):425-446. DOI:10.1007/s10763-015-9617-6
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    ABSTRACT: We examined several facets of general pedagogical knowledge and skills of early career mathematics teachers, asking how they are associated with characteristics of teacher education, teaching experience, and working conditions. Declarative general pedagogical knowledge (GPK) was assessed via a paper-and-pencil test, while early career teachers’ skills to perceive and interpret classroom situations were assessed via video-vignettes. Data from a follow-up study of TEDS-M Germany in 2012 were used, including a sample of 278 early career middle school teachers of mathematics. While teachers’ declarative knowledge can be predicted by teacher education grades, teachers’ skill to interpret classroom situations presented by videos can be predicted by their amount of time spent on teaching relative to their overall working time, which is interpreted as a form of deliberate practice. Different competence profiles of pedagogical knowledge and skills are identified via latent-class analysis. Besides teaching experience, profiles are associated with generic teaching challenges (motivating students, disruptive student behaviour) perceived by the teachers. Implications of findings for professional development of early career teachers are discussed.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 04/2015; 13(2):331-350. DOI:10.1007/s10763-015-9618-5
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    ABSTRACT: Research on the evaluation of the professional knowledge of mathematics teachers (comprising for example mathematical content knowledge, mathematics pedagogical content knowledge and general pedagogical knowledge) has become prominent in the last decade; however, the development of video-based assessment approaches is a more recent topic. This paper follows the call for more situated and performance-related ways to assess teacher competence. We discuss the theoretical and methodological challenges connected to the development of such instruments and exemplify these by an instrument developed within the follow-up study of the international “Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M)”, called TEDS-FU. Drawing on the novice-expert framework from cognitive psychology allows analysing the structure and development of mathematics teachers’ professional competence. More recent concepts on teacher noticing of classroom situations and students’ activities are incorporated into this video-based evaluation instrument, which is described in detail in this paper, by assessing perceptual, interpretative and decision-making skills. Reliability and validity concerns remain an issue of such assessments for which solutions are proposed. Overall, the paper shows that a more comprehensive evaluation of teachers’ competence comprising cognitive-affective and situated facets is possible and has been achieved.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 04/2015; 13(2):369-387. DOI:10.1007/s10763-015-9616-7
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    ABSTRACT: Engineering students in control courses have been observed to lack an understanding of equilibrium and stability, both of which are crucial concepts in this discipline. The introduction of these concepts is generally based on the study of classical examples from Newtonian mechanics supplemented with a control system. Equilibrium and stability are approached in different ways at the various stages of a typical engineering syllabus: at the beginning, they are mostly dealt with a static point of view, for example in mechanics, and are subsequently handled through dynamic analysis in control courses. In general, there is a little clarification of the differences between these concepts or the ways in which they are linked. We believe that this leads to much confusion and incomprehension among engineering students. Several studies have shown that students encounter difficulties when presented with simple familiar or academic static equilibrium cases in mechanics. Our study investigates students’ conceptions and misconceptions about equilibrium and stability through a series of questions about several innovative nonstatic situations. It reveals that the understanding of these notions is shaken when the systems being studied are placed in inertial or non-inertial moving reference frames. The students in our study were particularly uncertain about the existence of unstable equilibrium positions and had difficulty in differentiating between the two concepts. The results suggest that students use a velocity-based approach to explain such situations. A poor grasp of the above fundamental concepts may result from previous learning experiences. More specifically, certain difficulties seem to be directly linked to a lack of understanding of these concepts, while others are related to misconceptions arising from everyday experiences and the inappropriate use of physical examples in primary school
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 03/2015; 13(1). DOI:10.1007/s10763-014-9565-6
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines Swedish upper secondary school teachers’ gendered conceptions about students’ mathematical reasoning: whether reasoning was considered gendered and, if so, which type of reasoning was attributed to girls and boys. The sample consisted of 62 teachers from six different schools from four different locations in Sweden. The results showed that boys were significantly more often attributed to memorised reasoning and delimiting algorithmic reasoning. Girls were connected to gamiliar algorithmic reasoning, a reasoning type where you use standard method when solving a mathematical task. Creative mathematical founded reasoning, which is novel, plausible and founded in mathematical properties, was not considered gendered.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10763-015-9634-5
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents the analysis of two teaching experiments carried out in the context of the mathematics laboratory in a primary school (grades 3 and 4) with the use of the pascaline Zero + 1, an arithmetical machine. The teaching experiments are analysed by coordinating two theoretical frameworks, i.e. the instrumental approach and the Theory of Semiotic Mediation. The paper focuses on the analysis of the semiotic potential of the pascaline and students’ instrumental genesis, on the functions of schemes and gestures of usage.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 03/2015; 13(1). DOI:10.1007/s10763-013-9493-x
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    ABSTRACT: There is an increasing demand from employers and universities for school leavers to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to problem solving in varied and unfamiliar contexts. These aspects are however neglected in most examinations of mathematics and, consequentially, in classroom teaching. One barrier to the inclusion of mathematical problem solving in assessment is that the skills involved are difficult to define and assess objectively. We present two studies that test a method called comparative judgement (CJ) that might be well suited to assessing mathematical problem solving. CJ is an alternative to traditional scoring that is based on collective expert judgements of students’ work rather than item-by-item scoring schemes. In study 1, we used CJ to assess traditional mathematics tests and found it performed validly and reliably. In study 2, we used CJ to assess mathematical problem-solving tasks and again found it performed validly and reliably. We discuss the implications of the results for further research and the implications of CJ for the design of mathematical problem-solving tasks.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 02/2015; 13(1). DOI:10.1007/s10763-013-9497-6
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    ABSTRACT: Before science can be completely understood, one of the fundamental skills that must be developed is observation. Improving descriptive writing and investigating students’ observational skills in the classroom is the purpose of this study. The study was designed to determine if such skills, practiced through modeling activities, serve as a way to improve students’ descriptive directional writing skills. Participating in this study were two groups of seventh (N = 12) and eighth graders (N = 12) at a middle school in the Midwest, USA. The students participating in the study each received a set of materials to construct an item (a 3D object) in an isolated area within the room for privacy. After constructing the item, the student was to write a set of directions on how to construct the item that they had made. A second student was then given the same set of materials along with the first student’s instructions on how to construct it. This activity was repeated four times over a 4-week period. Results indicated that over time students made a significant improvement in their descriptive writing skills and observational skills. Implications of the findings are discussed in terms of the characteristics of middle school students’ skills and knowledge of descriptive writing and observation.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 02/2015; 13(1). DOI:10.1007/s10763-013-9456-2
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the difference in effectiveness between two scientific inquiry programs—one with an emphasis on scientific reasoning and one without a scientific reasoning component—on students’ scientific concepts, scientific concept-dependent reasoning, and scientific inquiry. A mixed-method approach was used in which 115 grade 5 students were administered the scientific concept test, scientific concept-dependent reasoning test, and scientific inquiry test before, 1 week after, and 8 weeks after instruction. In addition, students’ scientific inquiry worksheets in the classroom were collected and evaluated. Results indicated that the experimental group outperformed the control group, regardless of scientific concept test, scientific concept-dependent reasoning test, and scientific inquiry test. Moreover, the classroom inquiry worksheets results demonstrated that the experimental group generated a significantly greater number of testable hypotheses, correct hypotheses, and correct evidence-based scientific explanations and a higher level of scientific reasoning than did the control group.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 02/2015; 13(1). DOI:10.1007/s10763-013-9508-7
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    ABSTRACT: Most studies of students’ understanding of decimals have been conducted within Western cultural settings. The broad aim of the present research was to gain insight into Chinese Hong Kong grade 6 students’ general performance on a variety of decimals tasks. More specifically, the study aimed to explore students’ mathematical reasoning for their use of ‘rules’ and algorithms and to determine whether connections exist between students’ conceptual and procedural knowledge when completing decimals tasks. Results indicated that conceptual understanding for rules and procedures were built into the students’ knowledge system for most of the items concerned with place value in decimals—ordering decimals, translating fractions into decimals, the representation of place value in decimals, the concept of place value in decimals on number line and the concept of continuous quantity in decimals. However, the students were not able to provide such clear explanations for the use of algorithms for the multiplication and division items. The findings are discussed in the light of Chinese perspectives on procedural and conceptual understanding.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 02/2015; 13(1). DOI:10.1007/s10763-014-9531-3
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    ABSTRACT: Teachers’ subject-specific cognition is seen as an important factor for the quality of instruction and, accordingly, student learning. However, in-depth research on these relations can only be carried out if a sound theoretical model for subject-specific teacher cognition (knowledge and competence/practical skills) and—in the case of a quantitative research approach—corresponding measures are available. The subject-specific cognition can be modeled as basic professional knowledge (BK) complemented by two further components of reflective competence (RC) and action-related competence (AC) with a close connection to professional demands. In order to implement these subject-specific demands rigorously, we developed innovative standardized measures for primary mathematics teachers. In particular, we argue that video-based items that are implemented in a speed condition and rated as holistic observations are well suited to realize the assessment of action-related competence. This article gives a detailed insight into the test development as well as the coding and scoring procedure and focuses on validation efforts. The study is based on the data of 85 in-service primary mathematics teachers and shows the viability of the approach. Classical scale analyses as well as confirmatory factor analyses and the comparison of different models as well as teacher groups (mathematics certified vs. non-mathematics certified teachers) give evidence for the validity and reliability of the measures.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10763-014-9608-z
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    ABSTRACT: This study addresses the relation of pre-school teachers’ mathematics content knowledge and their performance—how they perceive mathematical learning situations and whether they are able to plan adequate actions that foster children’s learning—in the informal settings of pre-schools. It thus addresses a serious gap in teacher research that has so far mostly been focussed on the formal settings of primary and secondary schools. The paper presents the instruments used to assess the knowledge (a paper–pencil test) and the performance (a video-based assessment), as well as the results of a study involving 354 prospective pre-school teachers. The results indicate that mathematical content knowledge is a significant predictor of the pre-school teachers’ ability to perceive learning situations and to plan educational actions to foster learning. Such evidence not only supports the validity of the knowledge test, but it is also relevant for policy makers because it leads to conclusions about the important opportunities to learn that need to be provided during pre-school teacher training.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10763-014-9596-z
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between both 9th-grade and 1st-year undergraduate students’ use of “look back” strategies and problem solving performance in multiple solution methods, the difference in their use of look back strategies and problem solving performance in multiple solution methods, and the role of look back strategies in problem solving in multiple solution methods. Data for this study were comprised of 30 9th-grade and 30 1st-year undergraduate students’ problem solving scores in multiple solution methods and their think-aloud protocols. Based on and expanded from Polya’s (1973) ideas, “look back” in the present study means “examination of what was done or learned previously.” The results of this study indicated that both the 9th-grade and 1st-year undergraduate students who looked back more frequently tended to perform better in multiple solution methods, the 1st-year undergraduate students tended to look back more frequently and perform better than the 9th-grade students in multiple solution methods, and both the 9th-grade and 1st-year undergraduate students tended to review and to compare multiple solution methods in their use of look back strategies.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10763-014-9599-9
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    ABSTRACT: The present study investigates the internal structure of professional vision of in-service teachers and student teachers with respect to classroom management and learning support in primary science lessons. Classroom management (including monitoring, managing momentum, and rules and routines) and learning support (including cognitive activation and structuring of content) are important dimensions of instructional quality. While classroom management is considered as a mainly noncontent-specific aspect of instructional quality, learning support in science classrooms is content-specific. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether professional vision is a general ability of teachers, or a two-dimensional ability which depends on the specific focus of instructional quality considered. In a sample of both 241 German student teachers from different universities and in-service teachers from primary science classes, two video-based instruments were used for assessing professional vision of classroom management and professional vision of learning support. A structural equation model revealed a two-dimensional structure with a high correlation between professional vision of classroom management and of learning support.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10763-014-9607-0
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    ABSTRACT: The present study explores reasoning and argumentation in Greek mathematics and physics texts in specific topics related to the notion of periodicity. In our study, argumentation is taken as the sequence of the modes of reasoning (MsoR) that an author develops in a text when organizing and presenting new knowledge. Inductive content analysis was applied on 71 thematic units taken from 4 mathematics and 4 physics textbooks, and a coding system of categories and subcategories of MsoR was produced. Our analysis discerned 4 main categories of MsoR: empirical, logical-empirical, nomological, and mathematical; we argue that each mode of reasoning (MoR) plays a different role in conceptualizing aspects of periodicity. Analysis of the sequence of MsoR in two thematic units raised pragmatic considerations on the text understanding in relation to the scientific argumentation discourse and highlights ontological differences in the two subjects when ascending from observations to generalizations. Educational implications of the findings are discussed.
    International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10763-014-9609-y