Journal article

Structure Sense: A precursor to competency in undergraduate mathematics

J Vincent, R Pierce, C Bardini

Australian Senior Mathematics Journal | Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers | Published : 2017


Despite having passed the required level of secondary mathematics, many tertiary students struggle with first year tertiary mathematics. In recent years, university mathematics and statistics departments have been revising both curricula and pedagogy as well as providing extra support to help students through this transition. In the study reported in this paper, we have analysed student work in order to track potential sources of students’ difficulties. It seems that these difficulties may lie, not in new concepts, but in unsound foundations and in limited and inflexible structural understandings of mathematics established earlier in their experience of mathematics.