id: 05878555
dt: j
an: 2011c.00818
au: Houston, Ken; Mather, Glyn; Wood, Leigh N.; Petocz, Peter; Reid, Anna;
Harding, Ansie; Engelbrecht, Johann; Smith, Geoff H.
ti: Is there "life" after "modelling"? Student conceptions of mathematics.
so: Math. Educ. Res. J. 22, No. 2, 69-80 (2010).
py: 2010
pu: Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht; Mathematics Education Research Group of
Australasia (MERGA), Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia
la: EN
cc: M15 C25
ut: undergraduate students; college mathematics; mathematical models; surveys;
student attitudes; questionnaires; majors; nonmajors; phenomenology;
concept formation; relevance
ci:
li: doi:10.1007/BF03217566
ab: Summary: We have been investigating university student conceptions of
mathematics over a number of years, with the goal of enhancing student
learning and professional development. We developed an open-ended
survey of three questions, on "What is mathematics" and two questions
about the role of mathematics in the studentsâ€™ future. This
questionnaire was completed by 1,200 undergraduate students of
mathematics in Australia, the UK, Canada, South Africa, and Brunei. The
sample included students ranging from those majoring in mathematics to
those taking only one or two modules in mathematics. Responses were
analysed starting from a previously-developed phenomenographic
framework that required only minor modification, leading to an outcome
space of four levels of conceptions about mathematics. We found that
for many students modelling is fundamental to their conception of "What
is mathematics?". In a small number of students, we identified a
broader conception of mathematics, that we have labelled "Life". This
describes a view of mathematics as a way of thinking about reality and
as an integral part of life, and represents an ideal aim for university
mathematics education. (Contains 1 table and 1 footnote.) (ERIC)
rv: