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Aims versus Expectations – a Swedish study of problems related to the transition from secondary to tertiary education in mathematics
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Mathematics (Dept.), Mathematics (Div.).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7158-5865
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Mathematics (Dept.), Mathematics (Div.).
2008 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

For a number of years now there has been reports that beginning science and engineering students at Swedish universities are having difficulties in passing their mathematics courses. Several studies involving diagnostic tests given to such students report a decline in student knowledge in areas generally considered to be important prerequisites of university mathematics. In order to describe, understand and explain the situation, we have performed a study involving not only the university perspective but also the perspective of students and secondary school teachers. We pinpoint areas of mathematics that constitute a gap of content, i.e. areas that are not covered in secondary school but nevertheless at university are treated as if they had already been covered. We also find a clash of cultures, i.e. a discrepancy in views of what constitutes important mathematical knowledge. Our method using questionnaires as well as course materials and official documents allows for a detailed description of how the goals of secondary school mathematics education are implemented in classroom practice, and how they compare with the expectations on newcomers in the classroom practice at the university.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Research subject
Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-190168OAI: diva2:951848
ICME 11, the International Congress on Mathematical Education.

QC 20160811

Available from: 2016-08-10 Created: 2016-08-10 Last updated: 2016-08-11Bibliographically approved

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Thunberg, HansFilipsson, Lars
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