Degree of difficulty

6th July 2007 at 01:00
Maths experts met at St Andrews Univer-sity last week to tackle the growing problem of students who struggle with the mathematical component of their degree subject.

The trend, which is affecting students across the UK, has a variety of causes.

Christie Marr, head of the Mathematics Support Centre at the university, explained that even students heading for a first may need clarification on a particular topic or application. "We can't assume a level playing field when it comes to mathematical background," she said. "Students arrive at university having followed different syllabuses and often different educational systems. Additionally, in the sciences, some students may enter directly into second year."

Forty delegates from higher education institutions considered:

* Existing models for providing maths support, including large and small drop in centres, an appointment-based system, and a maths cafe.

* Existing resources, commercial and freely available, including material produced by mathcentre, mathtutormechanicstutor, mathletics and Mathematics for Economics-Enhancing Teaching and Learning.

* Subject-specific issues within biology, chemistry, economics, medical sciences, nursing physics and psychology.

* Employability, retention, and the student's learning experience.

The conference was sponsored by the Maths, Stats and Operational Research subject centre of the Higher Education Academy, and by the Wilkinson Charitable Trust.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now