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Perspectives from the UK and the US on integrating mathematics into the teaching and learning of the biological sciences in higher education

Quantitative abilities are central to the success of all students and graduates studying and working in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. This is particularly the case for biologists in both their degree programmes and their subsequent careers. Indeed university teachers researchers employers policy makers and students now routinely acknowledge the centrality of quantitative reasoning and mathematical and statistical skills within the biological sciences. Unfortunately graduates from degrees in the biological sciences are often not proficient in these quantitative subjects. There is thus a call from all sides for this general lack of proficiency to be remedied as a matter of high Priority. Initiatives to improve the teaching and learning of biomathematics have recently been under taken in both the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK).

This report draws on an analysis of the literature a series of in-depth interviews and quantitative and qualitative survey data in seeking to describe and assess the impact of the key initiatives with a view to highlighting successful practices and indeed potential pitfalls to be avoided. The report also includes a number of recommendations following completion of this research activity.

biomaths_uk_us_perspectives.pdf View Document