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    The use of unfamiliar tasks in first year calculus courses to aid the transition from school to university mathematics


    Breen, Sinead and O'Shea, Ann and Pfeiffer, Kirsten (2013) The use of unfamiliar tasks in first year calculus courses to aid the transition from school to university mathematics. In: Proceedings of the Eight Congress of the European Society for Research in Mathematics Education. Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, pp. 2316-2325. ISBN 978-975-429-315-9

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    Official URL: http://www.mathematik.uni-dortmund.de/~erme/doc/CE...


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    Abstract

    Research has shown that mathematics courses at university often focus more on conceptual understanding than those at secondary school (Clark & Lovric, 2008). Moreover, the literature reports that the types of tasks assigned to students affect their learning. A project was undertaken by the authors in which tasks were designed and presented to first-year undergraduate Calculus students with the aim of promoting conceptual understanding and developing mathematical thinking skills. Here we present data from interviews with five students; they reported an increased emphasis on conceptual understanding at university, and found the tasks assigned beneficial in the development of conceptual understanding. We suggest that unfamiliar tasks are useful in the transition from school to university mathematics.

    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: The authors would like to acknowledge the support of a NAIRTL grant.
    Keywords: calculus; transition; school mathematics; university mathematics; conceptual understanding; task design;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Mathematics and Statistics
    Item ID: 4900
    Depositing User: Dr. Ann O'Shea
    Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2014 14:37
    Publisher: Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: NAIRTL
    URI:

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