
06452097
a
2015d.00347
Breen, Sin\'ead
O'Shea, Ann
Pfeiffer, Kirsten
The use of unfamiliar tasks in first year calculus courses to aid the transition from school to university mathematics.
Ubuz, Behiye (ed.) et al., CERME 8. Proceedings of the eigth congress of the European Society of Research in Mathematics Education, Antalya, Turkey, February 610, 2013. Ankara: Middle East Technical University (ISBN 9789754293159). 23162325 (2013).
2013
Ankara: Middle East Technical University
EN
D35
C35
I15
D55
conceptual understanding
firstyear undergraduate students
mathematical thinking
use of unfamiliar tasks
calculus
transition from school to university
Summary: Research has shown that mathematics courses at university often focus more on conceptual understanding than those at secondary school. Moreover, the literature reports that the types of tasks assigned to students affect their learning. A project was undertaken by the authors in which tasks were designed and presented to firstyear undergraduate calculus students with the aim of promoting conceptual understanding and developing mathematical thinking skills. Here we present data from interviews with five students; they reported an increased emphasis on conceptual understanding at university, and found the tasks assigned beneficial in the development of conceptual understanding. We suggest that unfamiliar tasks are useful in the transition from school to university mathematics.