[Maths-Education] RE: Seminar: Telling stories about non-traditional learners of undergraduate mathematics

Liz Bills liz.bills at uea.ac.uk
Wed Feb 9 14:41:11 GMT 2005

Just noticed a mistake in the timing on this message.  The seminar starts at
5.30 pm, not 5 pm.  Apologies for the mistake.

(Anyone arriving at 5 will be made welcome and offered a glass of something
to soothe their disgruntlement)


> From: Liz Bills [mailto:liz.bills at uea.ac.uk]
> Sent: 24 January 2005 11:16
> To: 'Mathematics Education discussion forum'
> Subject: Seminar: Telling stories about non-traditional learners of
> undergraduate mathematics
> Dear colleagues,
> You are warmly invited to a seminar on Thursday February 10th given by
> Professor Hilary Povey of Sheffield Hallam University.  The seminar will
> be in Norwich, School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of
> East Anglia at 5.00 pm in Room EDU 1.40.  Please contact me
> (liz.bills at uea.ac.uk) if you would like further details of location.
> 'Telling stories about non-traditional learners of undergraduate
> mathematics'
> Recent research into students' experience of undergraduate mathematics at
> a traditional English university includes an account of those who fail
> (Macrae, Brown, Bartholomew and Rodd, 2003).  The university studied is
> among the elite institutions for mathematics so entrants arrive with a
> history of success with the subject.  In contrast, at our institution,
> some of the entrants are students who have previously failed in
> mathematics; others come to us with a comparatively weak mathematical
> background.  However, most of these students go on to become confident and
> effective mathematicians, some even achieving first class honours.
> Corinne Angier and I interviewed the members of a small cohort of students
> where such patterns of a weak entry profile followed by success in
> mathematics were clearly evident.  The students were following one of the
> longer routes into secondary mathematics teaching.  On their course, they
> studied undergraduate mathematics for two years within the context of a
> Mathematics Education Centre; (this was followed by a professional year).
> They studied mathematics to honours level but within a narrower range than
> would a single honours student.  In this seminar, I will draw on stories
> we constructed about these students: we believe that reporting aspects of
> their experience has value as a 'public resource' (Nixon et al, 2003: 87)
> in the context of widening participation and debates about equity.
> Macrae, Sheila, Brown, Margaret, Bartholomew, Hannah and Rodd, Melissa
> (2003) 'The tale of the tail: an investigation of failing single honours
> mathematics students in one university' in Proceedings of the BSRLM Day
> Conference, Oxford, June 2003, pp. 55- 60
> Nixon, John, Walker, Melanie and Clough, Peter (2003) 'Research as
> thoughtful practice' in Sikes, Pat, Nixon, John and Carr, Wilfred (Eds)
> The Moral Foundations of Educational Research Knowledge, Inquiry and
> Values, Maidenhead, Open University Press
> Liz Bills
> School of Education and Lifelong Learning
> University of East Anglia
> Norwich
> NR4 7TJ
> +44 (0)1603 592868

More information about the Maths-Education mailing list