Conference Proceedings

Contemplating symbolic literacy of first year mathematics students

C Bardini, R Pierce, J Vincent, M Marshman (ed.), V Geiger (ed.), A Bennison (ed.)

MERGA | Published : 2015


Analysis of mathematical notations must consider both syntactical aspects of symbols and the underpinning mathematical concept(s) conveyed. We argue that the construct of ‘syntax template’ provides a theoretical framework to analyse undergraduate mathematics students’ written solutions, where we have identified several types of symbol-related errors. A focus on syntax templates may address the under-developed symbol sense of many tertiary mathematics students, resulting in greater mathematics success, and with the potential to improve retention rates in mathematics