Project Maths and the Non-Cognitive Domain – The Perceptions of a group of Engineering Students in one Institute of Technology

Louise Duggan, Pamela Cowan, Ian Cantley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Following the publication of the Irish Leaving Certificate results in 2005, substantial concern was raised in relation to the poor mathematics results. As a result of this, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) conducted a review of post primary mathematics education in Ireland [1]. Of particular concern highlighted in this review was the low level of mathematical skills attained by students emerging from post-primary school. Many students proceeding to higher education were ill-equipped to deal with the mathematical demands of their higher education discipline and generally displayed poor attitudes towards mathematics [1]. As a result of these concerns the Project Maths curriculum was proposed.

This paper reports the salient points of a preliminary study completed in March 2016 at a higher education institution in Ireland. A questionnaire was administered to a group of first year engineering students to determine the impact of Project Maths on the affective domain. The research-tested Attitudes Towards Mathematics Inventory (ATMI) was the instrument adopted in this study. A scale was also included to measure students’ experiences of teaching practices which provided an indication of the extent to which the post-primary teachers are adopting and implementing the Project Maths curriculum. Several open-ended questions followed the questionnaire in order to gain an understanding of student experiences of Project Maths. Results indicate that while Project Maths did not improve all of the students’ attitudes towards mathematics – at least in terms of students enjoying mathematics more – it did reveal almost every student saw mathematics as useful in the real world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3025-3033
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2017

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