The present study takes an interdisciplinary mathematics-physics approach to the acquisition of the concept of angle by children in Grades 3-5. This paper first presents the theoretical framework we developed, then we analyse the concept of angle and the difficulties pupils have with it. Finally, we report three experimental physics-based teaching sequences tested in three classrooms. We showed that at the end of each teaching sequence the pupils had a good grasp of the concept of angle, they had truly appropriated the physics knowledge at play, and many pupils are enable to successfully grasp new physics situations in which the angle plays a highly meaningful role. Using a physics framework to introduce angles in problem situations is then pertinent: by interrelating different spaces, pupils were able to acquire skills in the domains of mathematics, physics, and modelling. In conclusion, we discuss the respective merits of each problem situation proposed.
Valérie Munier and Helene Merle have written an article that was published in the September issue of International Journal of Science Education. The article is entitled Interdisciplinary Mathematics-Physics Approaches to Teaching the Concept of Angle in Elementary School. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to this article, but I find the topic interesting! Here is a copy of the abstract of their article: