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Title: Which prior mathematical knowledge is necessary for study success in the university study entrance phase? : results on a new model of knowledge levels based on a reanalysis of data from existing studies
Author(s): Rach, Stefanie
Ufer, Stefan
Issue Date: 2020
Type: Article
Language: English
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:ma9:1-1981185920-835262
Subjects: Mathematicalknowledge
Study entrance phase
Qualities of knowledge
Abstract: The transition from school to tertiary mathematics courses, which involve advanced mathematics, is a challenge for many students. Prior research has established the central role of prior mathematical knowledge for successfully dealing with challenges in learning processes during the study entrance phase. However, beyond knowing that more prior knowledge is beneficial for study success, especially passing courses, it is not yet known how a level of prior knowledge can be characterized that is sufficient for a successful start into a mathematics program. The aim of this contribution is to specify the appropriate level of mathematical knowledge that predicts study success in the first semester. Based on theoretical analysis of the demands in tertiary mathematics courses, we develop a mathematical test with 17 items in the domain of Analysis. Thereby, we focus on different levels of conceptual understanding by linking between different (in)formal representation formats and different levels of mathematical argumentations. The empirical results are based on a re-analysis of five studies in which in sum 1553 students of bachelor mathematics and mathematics teacher education programs deal with some of these items in each case. By identifying four levels of knowledge, we indicate that linking multiple representations is an important skill at the study entrance phase. With these levels of knowledge, it might be possible to identify students at risk of failing. So, the findings could contribute to more precise study advice and support before and while studying advanced mathematics at university.
Open Access: Open access publication
License: (CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons Attribution 4.0(CC BY 4.0) Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Sponsor/Funder: Projekt DEAL 2020
Journal Title: International journal of research in undergraduate mathematics education
Publisher: Springer
Publisher Place: New York, NY
Volume: 6
Issue: 3
Original Publication: 10.1007/s40753-020-00112-x
Page Start: 375
Page End: 403
Appears in Collections:Fakultät für Mathematik (OA)

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