Education

The math behind quantitative success

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Science  15 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6356, pp. 1109-1110
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6356.1109-f

Better integration of math and biology is a long-standing goal of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. A parallel long-standing challenge has been overcoming students' negative attitudes toward math. How can educators better align their curricula to student math-biology values? Andrews et al. developed the Math-Biology Values Instrument (MBVI), an 11-item college-level self-report tool based on expectancy-value theory, to measure students' interest in using math to understand biology. Life science educators can use MBVI at the beginning of a course to gauge their students' attitudes toward math, allowing for appropriate integration of quantitative skills into the curriculum. The MBVI can also be used by researchers assessing the success of quantitative biology reforms as a way to measure increased positive attitudes toward math.

CBE Life Sci. Educ. 10.1187/cbe.17-03-0043 (2017).

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