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Changing attitudes: undergraduate perceptions of learning mathematic. (English)
Pope, Sue (ed.), Proceedings of the British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (BSRLM). Proceedings of the British congress of mathematics education, BCME-8, University of Nottingham, UK, April 14‒17, 2014. London: British Society for Research into Learning Mathematics (BSRLM). 359-366 (2014).
Summary: The purpose of my research is to explore first year undergraduate perceptions in learning mathematics and their identification of strategies to support them in this area. I work as a senior lecturer in mathematics education on a BA Applied Education Studies course where students consistently identify the mathematics education units as a source of anxiety. Having established a potential link between mathematics anxiety in teachers and trainee teachers, and the potential that this anxiety could be passed on to children in classrooms, my aim is to identify whether there may be strategies that could support adults in learning mathematics. To explore this area, I tracked a sample of first year undergraduate students through their initial mathematics education unit, establishing their perceptions before and after the teaching of this unit. Initial findings demonstrated that the students had negative perceptions about learning mathematics (twice as many negative as positive) and that this was reversed following the completion of the first mathematics education unit. A range of factors were identified as affecting how they felt about learning mathematics, including the role of the teacher, personal perceptions regarding learning mathematics and the role of discussion.
Classification: C25 C29
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