
05704904
j
2010c.00111
Petocz, Peter
Reid, Anna
Wood, Leigh N.
Smith, Geoff H.
Mather, Glyn
Harding, Ansie
Engelbrecht, Johann
Houston, Ken
Hillel, Joel
Perrett, Gillian
Undergraduate students' conceptions of mathematics: an international study.
Int. J. Sci. Math. Educ. 5, No. 3, 439459 (2007).
2007
Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht
EN
C25
C35
A45
B40
conceptions of mathematics
mathematics in careers
mathematics in tertiary study
research
empirical investigations
ME 2005d.01405
doi:10.1007/s1076300690592
Summary: In this paper, we report on an international study of undergraduate mathematics students' conceptions of mathematics. Almost 1,200 students in five countries completed a short survey including three openended questions asking about their views of mathematics and its role in their future studies and planned professions. Responses were analysed starting from a previouslydeveloped phenomenographic framework (Reid et al.: Mathematics students' conceptions of mathematics, New Zealand Journal of Mathematics, 32 (Supplement), 2003, [ME 2005d.01405]) which required only minor modification. Students' conceptions of mathematics ranged from the narrowest view as a focus on calculations with numbers, through a notion of mathematics as a focus on models or abstract structures, to the broadest view of mathematics as an approach to life and a way of thinking. Broader conceptions of mathematics were more likely to be found in lateryear students ($p<0.001$) and there were significant differences between universities ($p<0.001$). The information obtained from the study not only confirms previous research, but also provides a basis for future development of a monitoring questionnaire.