Mathematical maturity: How can it inform teaching and learning of mathematics?
About the project
Mathematical maturity is a ubiquitous, yet nebulous concept in mathematics. Often it is said that certain topics will be accessible for people with "sufficient mathematical maturity", even to the point that it becomes an informal course prerequisite. It appears linked to, but distinct from, the ability to do mathematics in an algorithmic sense, and tends to be a more holistic judgment of a person.
In this study, we aim to define mathematical maturity and develop pedagogy to help students improve this skill. We aim to help students develop their mathematical thinking and reasoning skills, mathematical transfer skills, and overall mathematical performance.
Design / Methodology
The project consists of three stages.
- Review of the literature in mathematics and mathematics education to get a better understanding of the construct and a potential working definition of mathematical maturity.
- Survey of professional mathematicians at universities around the world for their working / operational (as opposed to theoretical) definition of mathematical maturity, and how they use the construct in their teaching practice.
- Develop teaching strategies and pedagogy aimed at improving mathematical maturity and broader mathematical (reasoning) skills in learners, and initiate the evaluation process in collaboration with colleagues at UC, in particular those teaching the large stage one courses. The evaluation phase will employ methodologies and approach similar to the Transforming Tertiary Science Teaching" and "Teaching for Transfer", and will continue post-grant.
Because data is gathered from mathematics academics around the world, we are hopeful that the results will be applicable to the teaching of mathematics in a wide variety of socially, culturally, and linguistically diverse teaching and learning environments in New Zealand and abroad. If mathematical maturity is found to be a concept that can be used to inform mathematics teaching practice it will naturally have to be adapted, like any good teaching tool, to the local sociocultural and linguistic setting in which the teaching and learning is taking place. In the context of Aotearoa New Zealand that would be the bicultural nature of the country, and we would expect to work closely with experts to assist us making the proper adaptations and help develop teaching practices.
- Dr Maarten McKubre-Jordens (Project Lead) (University of Canterbury)
- Dr Erik Brogt (University of Canterbury)
Project commenced: Mid 2016
Expected project completion: Mid 2017
McKubre-Jordens, M. & Horton, A. (2016). Mathematical maturity: How can it inform teaching and learning of mathematics?. Presentation at Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub Projects Colloquium IV, Christchurch. (14 November).
|This report from this project is published under the Creative Commons 3.0 New Zealand Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence (BY-NC-SA). Under this licence you are free to copy, distribute, display and perform the work as well as to remix, tweak, and build upon this work noncommercially, as long as you credit the author/s and license your new creations under the identical terms.|