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Conceptual or procedural mathematics for engineering students ‒ views of two qualified engineers from two countries. (English)
Int. J. Math. Educ. Sci. Technol. 46, No. 7, 979-990 (2015).
Summary: This study forms part of a collaboration project between universities in South Africa and Sweden in which we investigate whether the emphasis in undergraduate mathematics courses for engineering students would benefit from being more conceptually oriented than a traditional more procedurally oriented way of teaching. In this paper, we report in some detail from two interviews with professional engineers, selected to represent two different ‘poles’ of engineering work. The aim was to explore different kinds of arguments regarding the role of mathematics in engineering work, as well as some common across contexts. Both interviewees feel that conceptual mathematics is more important for engineering work, although the role of the procedural aspect was seen by one of the interviewees also to be important, but in a very intricate way.
Classification: D35 D45 M55
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