In this paper, we report on an international study of undergraduate mathematics students' conceptions of mathematics. Almost 1,200 students in five countries completed a short survey including three open-ended questions asking about their views of mathematics and its role in their future studies and planned professions. Responses were analysed starting from a previously-developed phenomenographic framework (Reid et al., 2003) which required only minor modification. Students' conceptions of mathematics ranged from the narrowest view as a focus on calculations with numbers, through a notion of mathematics as a focus on models or abstract structures, to the broadest view of mathematics as an approach to life and a way of thinking. Broader conceptions of mathematics were more likely to be found in later-year students (p<0.001) and there were significant differences between universities (p<0.001). The information obtained from the study not only confirms previous research, but also provides a basis for future development of a monitoring questionnaire.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2007|