The Transition from School to University in Mathematics: Which Influence Do School-Related Variables Have?
- 641 Downloads
Particularly in mathematics, the transition from school to university often appears to be a substantial hurdle in the individual learning biography. Differences between the characters of school mathematics and scientific university mathematics as well as different demands related to the learning cultures in both institutions are discussed as possible reasons for this phenomenon. If these assumptions hold, the transition from school to university could not be considered as a continuous mathematical learning path because it would require a realignment of students’ learning strategies. In particular, students could no longer rely on the effective use of school-related individual resources like knowledge, interest, or self-concept. Accordingly, students would face strong challenges in mathematical learning processes at the beginning of their mathematics study at university. In this contribution, we examine these assumptions by investigating the role of individual mathematical learning prerequisites of 182 first-semester university students majoring in mathematics. In line with the assumptions, our results indicate only a marginal influence of school-related mathematical resources on the study success of the first semester. In contrast, specific precursory knowledge related to scientific mathematics and students’ abilities to develop adequate learning strategies turn out as main factors for a successful transition phase. Implications for the educational practice will be discussed.
KeywordsIndividual learning processes Role of learning prerequisites Study success Transition school – university
We like to thank the reviewers for their careful reading of the manuscript and their helpful suggestions.
- Bressoud, D., Mesa, V. & Rasmussen, C. (Eds.). (2015). Insights and Recommendations from the MAA National Study of College Calculus. Washington, DC: MAA Press.Google Scholar
- Chi, M. T. H., de Leeuw, N., Chiu, M.-H. & Lavancher, C. (1994). Eliciting self-explanations improves understanding. Cognitive Science, 18(3), 439–477.Google Scholar
- Dieter, M. (2012). Studienabbruch und Studienfachwechsel in der Mathematik: Quantitative Bezifferung und empirische Untersuchung von Bedingungsfaktoren [Drop-out and change of study in mathematics: Quantification and empirical analysis of factors] (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://duepublico.uni-duisburg-essen.de/servlets/DerivateServlet/Derivate-30759/Dieter_Miriam.pdf.
- Halverscheid, S. & Pustelnik, K. (2013). Studying math at the university: Is dropout predictable? In A. M. Lindmeier & A. Heinze (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th conference of the international group for the psychology of mathematics education (Vol. 2, pp. 417–424). Kiel, Germany: PME.Google Scholar
- Hannula, M. S., Maijala, H. & Pehkonen, E. (2004). Development of understanding and self-confidence in mathematics; grades 5–8. In M. Johnsen Høines & A. B. Fuglestadt (Eds.), Proceedings of the 28th conference of the international group for the psychology of mathematics education (Vol. 3, pp. 17–24). Bergen, Norway: Univ. College.Google Scholar
- Hattermann & A. Peter-Koop (Eds.), Transformation - A Fundamental Idea of Mathematics Education (pp.29-50). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Köller, O., Trautwein, U., Lüdtke, O. & Baumert, J. (2006). Zum Zusammenspiel von schulischer Leistung, Selbstkonzept und Interesse in der gymnasialen Oberstufe [The interaction of school achievement, self-concept, and interest in the upper secondary school]. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 20(1/2), 27–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nagy, G. (2006). Berufliche Interessen, kognitive und fachgebundene Kompetenzen: Ihre Bedeutung für die Studienfachwahl und die Bewährung im Studium [Vocational interests, cognitive and scholastic abilities: Their role in choice of major and success at university] (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://www.diss.fu-berlin.de/diss/receive/FUDISS_thesis_000000002714.
- Pekrun, R., Goetz, T., Titz, W. & Perry, R. P. (2002). Positive emotions in education. In E. Frydenberg (Ed.), Beyond coping: Meeting goals, visions, and challenges (pp. 149–173). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Rach, S. & Heinze, A. (2011). Studying Mathematics at the University: The Influence of Learning Strategies. In B. Ubuz (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Vol. 4), (pp. 9-16). Ankara, Turkey: PME.Google Scholar
- Rasmussen, C. & Ellis, J. (2013). Who is switching out of calculus and why. In A. M. Lindmeier & A. Heinze (Eds.), Proceedings of the 37th conference of the international group for the psychology of mathematics education (Vol. 4) (pp. 73–80). Kiel, Germany: PME.Google Scholar
- Schiefele, U., Streblow, L. & Brinkmann, J. (2007). Aussteigen oder Durchhalten: Was unterscheidet Studienabbrecher von anderen Studierenden? [Dropping out or persevering: What distinguishes university dropouts from other students?]. Zeitschrift für Entwicklungspsychologie und Pädagogische Psychologie, 39(3), 127–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Seaton, M., Parker, P., Marsh, H. W., Craven, R. G. & Yeung, A. S. (2014). The reciprocal relations between self-concept, motivation and achievement: Juxtaposing academic self-concept and achievement goal orientations for mathematics success. Educational Psychology, 34(1), 49–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Tall, D. (1991). The psychology of advanced mathematical thinking. In D. Tall (Ed.), Advanced mathematical thinking (pp. 3–21). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
- Thomas,M., Klymchuk, S., Hong, Y. Y., Kerr, S., McHardy, J., Murphy, P., Watson, P. (2010). The transition from secondary to tertiary mathematics education. Wellington, New Zealand: Teaching and Learning Research Initiative. Retrieved from http://www.tlri.org.nz/sites/default/files/projects/9262SummaryReport.pdf.
- Vollstedt, M., Heinze, A., Gojdka, K. & Rach, S. (2014). Framework for Examining the Transformation of Mathematics and Mathematics Learning in the Transition from School to University. In S. Rezat, M.Google Scholar
- Wagner, D. (2011). Mathematische Kompetenzanforderungen in Schule und Hochschule: Die Rolle des formal-abstrahierenden Denkens [Mathematical competence requirements in school and university: The role of formal-abstract thinking]. In R. Haug & L. Holzäpfel (Eds.), Beiträge zum Mathematikunterricht 2011 (pp. 879–882). Münster, Germany: WTM Verlag.Google Scholar
- Weinstein, C. E. & Mayer, R. E. (1986). The teaching of learning strategies. In M. C. Wittrock (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching. A project of the American educational research association (3rd ed., pp. 315–327). New York, NY: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Witzke, I. (2015). Different understandings of mathematics. An epistemological approach to bridge the gap between school and university mathematics. In E. Barbin, U. T. Jankvist & T. H. Kjeldsen (Eds.), ESU 7 (pp. 304–322). Copenhagen, Denmark: Danish School of Education.Google Scholar