Research and Supervision in Mathematics and Science Education

Research and Supervision in Mathematics and Science Education

Research and Supervision in Mathematics and Science Education

Research and Supervision in Mathematics and Science Education


Research and Supervision in Mathematics and Science Education provides student researchers and their supervisors with information about both the essentials of planning, conducting, reporting, and publishing qualitative research, and the characteristics of quality supervision. It is focused primarily for postgraduate research students in mathematics and science education and their supervisors. It will also be of interest to students and faculty in other disciplines that use educational and sociological research paradigms.

The volume builds on two phenomena of recent years: first, the increasing momentum of postgraduate research in mathematics and science education and, second, the resulting need of those involved for knowledge about doing research and about engaging in quality supervision. The decision to address both research and supervision in one volume is a response to the fact that faculty who supervise postgraduate research often are in need of resources covering not only aspects of project and thesis supervision, but also the knowledge to assist students in research design, especially in the qualitative field.

Drawing on recent research and practice, the authors of the chapters in this book illustrate approaches and strategies that have been used successfully with, and by, postgraduate students. The book also has a strong future orientation, describing how postgraduate supervision and research will change as more and more students gain access to and make use of the vast array of technological resources now available.

A necessary and unique addition to books in the field of postgraduate research and supervision, this volume's particular appeal stems from its practical approach, its creative future perspective, and the wide generalizability of the thinking and ideas it presents.


At least four recent and significant changes in the context of research in mathematics and science education were influential in the decision to produce this book. First, mathematics and science education researchers now have access to a much wider choice of research methodologies than they had two decades ago. These so called "emerging" methodologies are being increasingly used by researchers in the social sciences, and although general research texts dealing with these new methodologies are plentiful, very rarely are the principles and methods used problematized with particular reference to actual examples set within a research context. We believe that new researchers generally, and those in mathematics and science education in particular, will benefit from the contextualized discussion of the more common alternative methodologies appearing in this book.

Second, there has been a significant increase in the number of novice researchers now working in the fields of mathematics and science education. This increase in numbers has stemmed, in many countries around the world, from the transfer of these disciplines from colleges and teacher training institutions to the university sector. This phenomenon has been accompanied by the changing emphasis, in a significant number of these institutions, away from undergraduate preparation toward the provision of higher degrees, and by the increasing demand for highly qualified mathematics and science teachers in schools. Coupled with the shrinking job market worldwide and an aggressive recruitment marketing strategy adopted by many tertiary institutions, postgraduate enrollments in mathematics and science education have shifted from a steady-state situation in the recent past to a present growth state.

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