New guidance to support teachers in the use of mathematical ideas in the science curriculum

27 May 2016

New guidance to support teachers of 11-16 science in the use of mathematical ideas in the science curriculum has been published today by the Association for Science Education (ASE). The guidance was developed with funding from the Nuffield Foundation. 

The Language of Mathematics in Science: A Guide for Teachers of 11-16 Science provides an overview of relevant ideas in secondary school mathematics and where they are used in science. It aims to clarify terminology, and indicate where there may be problems in student understanding. The publication includes explanations of key ideas and terminology in mathematics, guidance about good practice in applying mathematical ideas in science, along with a glossary of terms.

The development of the materials has involved extensive input from various panels of educators and teachers in science and mathematics.

The ASE worked closely with the leading examination awarding bodies AQA, Edexcel, Eduqas and OCR, and we will continue to collaborate as they further develop and exemplify good quality assessment items of mathematics in science.

In statements today the leading awarding bodies have issued formal support for the guidance. Kathryn Booth, Senior Manager for Science at Pearson Edexcel said: "The new mathematics requirements in science GCSE examinations certainly present a challenge to both teachers and learners. We are very supportive of the aims of ASE’s ‘Language of Mathematics in Science’ project in seeking to provide clarity on mathematics at 11-16 and to support linkage with mathematics used in a science context."

ASE’s Chief Executive, Shaun Reason, said: "It’s been incredibly important to have the support from the awarding bodies for our new guidance, which is recommending achievable practice, and is an initial step in ASE’s continued commitment to supporting teachers with the increased mathematical challenges in science today."