First-year engineering students’ use of their mathematics textbook - opportunities and constraints
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The role of the mathematics textbook at tertiary level has received limited exposure in previous research although it is likely that students work individually and that some of this work depends on the use of the textbook. The aim of this study was to investigate the process of approaching the textbook from epistemological, cognitive, and didactical perspectives. The focus was on identifying and discussing the opportunities and constraints in the process. The study was an explorative case study and the participants were first-year engineering students taking a basic calculus course. The data were collected through questionnaires, observations, and interviews. Results showed that the textbook was used to a very low degree and mainly perceived as a source of tasks. Different opportunities and constraints are pointed out and some didactical implications are suggested. The results and discussion indicate that a need for greater awareness about the use of mathematical textbooks in meaningful ways at tertiary level.
Published version of an article in the journal: Mathematics Education Research Journal. Also available from the publlisher at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13394-012-0040-9