The stumbling blocks of integrating quantitative skills in science

Carmel Coady, Kelly Matthews, Shaun Belward, Peter Adams, Leanne Rylands, Vilma Simbag

Abstract


The Science Higher Education community has acknowledged the essential role of quantitative skills (QS) as a graduate learning outcome. However, efforts to build QS across science degree programs have been meet with a range of obstacles that are inhibiting the development of QS to an appropriate standard. This presentation, drawing on interview data from the ALTC funded QS in Science project which used a case study approach, details the challenges institutions have found in trying to ensure that QS are developed and embraced in science curricula. Interview data (n = 48) from academic staff involved in the case studies revealed several broad categories that significantly impacted on embedding QS effectively in the science curriculum: 1) the attitude and background of students undertaking science courses, 2) the constraints of the various science degree program structures.

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