Mathematics in the disciplines at the transition to university

McAlinden, Mary and Noyes, Andrew (2018) Mathematics in the disciplines at the transition to university. Teaching Mathematics and its Applications . ISSN 1471-6976

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Mathematics education is highly valued in advanced economies due to its role in developing skilled workforces, economic resilience and social wellbeing. However, university academics across disciplines regularly bemoan undergraduate students’ under-preparedness for the mathematical and quantitative demands of undergraduate degree programmes. In this paper we consider this issue. We begin with a research synthesis of relevant literatures on mathematics within university study in the natural sciences (physics, chemistry and biology) and social sciences (economics, geography, psychology) that highlights the international nature of this problem. We then develop an historical national case study of how mathematics for pre-university study in England has evolved, culminating in a recent policy move which mandates the assessment of mathematics within disciplines. Finally, by integrating these two distinct perspectives we discuss wider issues relating to mathematics for the transition to higher education.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Teaching Mathematics and its Applications following peer review. The version of record Mary McAlinden, Andrew Noyes; Mathematics in the disciplines at the transition to university, Teaching Mathematics and its Applications: An International Journal of the IMA, , hry004, is available online at:
Keywords: mathematics; science; university; transition; qualifications
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Noyes, Andrew
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 11:16
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2019 04:30

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