Risk and the mathematical modelling of socio-scientific issues (TURS)
The aim of this project is to support and enhance the teaching of the core idea of risk through an innovative approach pioneered in projects aimed at mathematical understanding in the workplace. Mathematics and science teachers will model socio-scientific issues using new technological tools, designed specifically to engage them in consideration of ethical and social issues, building their personal value systems alongside quantifiable mathematical models. By interacting more deeply with interdisciplinary knowledge, we assume that they will be empowered to enthuse their students in meaningful activity around the use of risk.
The importance of the discourse of risk in public policy is now being reflected in science and maths curricula but there has been almost no previous pedagogy of risk. This is because understanding risk incorporates concepts which go beyond substantive science or probability into affective and social science domains. To address this problem together with a group of science and maths teachers, we will co-design a computer-based microworld in which teachers can explore and interrogate their knowledge of risk, including pedagogical knowledge, in socio-scientific issues drawn from research. Using this microworld, teachers will generate models that embrace a pedagogy of risk in diverse contexts to increase their own confidence in teaching this important idea and ultimately to enthuse their students. Through regional and national workshops, working within on-line communities, teachers will work with and evaluate these models.
Phase 1: Development of design criteria (MONTHS 0 - 2)
Phase 2: Initial microworld development (months 2 - 8)
Phase 3: Initial microworld testing (months 8 - 12)
Phase 4: Scaling up and Dissemination (months 12-18)