Values of mathematics as a pivot of the perceptions of secondary mathematics teachers in iSTEM education

Kai Lin Yang, Xiao Bin He*, Siska Nopa Br Tambunan, Qiaoping Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: STEM teachers’ perceptions on iSTEM (integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education are critical for successful iSTEM teaching. Although many studies have investigated STEM teachers’ perceptions on iSTEM education, little attention has been given to mathematics teachers’ perceptions on iSTEM education with the focus on the role of mathematics. Purpose: To fill the gap on the minor role of mathematics in iSTEM education, and consider the contrasting educational features of curriculum setting, students’ achievement and interest in mathematics between Taiwanese and Indonesian systems, this study aimed to investigate and compare Taiwanese and Indonesian mathematics teachers’ perceptions on the goals of iSTEM education, the values of mathematics in iSTEM education, and the approaches adopted by them to realize these goals and values of mathematics in iSTEM education. Sample: Data was obtained from semi-structured interviews with four Taiwanese mathematics teachers (TMTs) and four Indonesian mathematics teachers (IMTs) respectively. Design and Methods: Interpretative phenomenological analysis with thematic analysis was employed to analyze the data and form the final themes. The commonalities and differences would be identified by using cross-case comparative analysis. Results: Four themes connected to the values of mathematics were identified, including course settings, integration approaches and teaching methods of integrating mathematics with other iSTEM disciplines, iSTEM task design, and technology usage. Four characteristics were identified to show their commonalities and differences in the four phases of goal of iSTEM education, context in task design, the scope of students’ motivation, and the approach and purpose of technology usage, regarding their values of mathematics for iSTEM education. Conclusion: This study uncovered the values of mathematics underlying four themes. Most IMTs implemented iSTEM in their mathematics classes, whereas TMTs undertook iSTEM in alternative or living technology courses. Moreover, the values of mathematics in iSTEM education could be considered as mediating factor between the goals and iSTEM teaching and learning.

Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Science and Technological Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Values
  • iSTEM
  • mathematics
  • teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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