Mathematics in science

Mathematics has always had an important place in the teaching of science, and recent changes in the national curriculum for England have put an increased emphasis on its role. The booklet ‘The Language of Mathematics in Science: A Guide for Teachers of 11-16 Science‘ was published in 2016, in order to support teachers in the use of mathematical ideas in the science curriculum. While writing this booklet, I set up a website ‘‘ to enable a wide range of teachers to provide feedback on the publication’s development. Since the completion of the publication, the website is now providing a focus for the continuing work of supporting good practice in the use of mathematics in science.

The Language of Mathematics in Science:
A Guide for Teachers of 11-16 Science

The aim of this booklet is to enable teachers, publishers, awarding bodies and others to achieve a common understanding of important terms and techniques related to the use of mathematics in the science curriculum for pupils aged 11–16. The main part of the booklet consists of ten chapters, each focusing on a particular aspect of scientific activity, such as data collection, analysis, looking for relationships, presenting data, using scientific models, and so on. In addition there a glossary giving definitions of the key words used in the main chapters.

The project was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, and the booklet is published by the ASE. It can be freely downloaded from the ASE website, and further details can be found on the About section of the website. is an independent organisation that aims to support the use of mathematics in the secondary science curriculum. It grew out of the work done in producing the guidance booklet The Language of Mathematics in Science: A Guide for Teachers of 11-16 Science. The intention is to promote approaches that are both intellectually coherent and accessible to learners. A key theme of the guidance booklet is that, while there are important mathematical techniques to be learned, the way that mathematics is used in science is a matter of judgement and not of applying hard-and-fast rules. The website is aimed at those interested in the use of mathematics in all of the sciences across the curriculum.


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