Preparedness of students in first year mathematics: Importance of placing the focus and responsibility of learning on students
Australia is presently experiencing a decline in student numbers in higher mathematics courses. It is then critical to address some fundamental issues affecting the learners in mathematics classrooms. Observations of high schools students and new university entrants to first year mathematics show that students are not being prepared for learning itself or for learning environments generally; let alone for mathematics learning environments. The author's in class observations over years show that students fail to actively take part in learning voluntarily; or even fail to motivate themselves even when " gently pushed" by teachers. The non-learners tend to become a burden for high school teachers to manage and when teachers themselves are not mathematically prepared the problem becomes harder. The dealing of management issues leaves less teaching time to teach mathematics or provide sufficient help to those who are prepared to extend their learning of math. There should be more research to detail the loss in "teaching time" in classrooms for this may be significant. This paper addresses "student preparedness" in the first year mathematics by examining self-directed approaches to learning and determination to succeed. The results show that student preparedness is an important factor in success. This preparedness issue in learning is a great challenge for all; in particular, for parents, carers, early, primary and high school and tertiary institutions. It is critical for researchers to address student preparedness variables in classroom contexts to investigate their effect in the learning of mathematics and indeed in student education more generally.
Shaikshik Parisamvad, International Journal of Education
Mathematical Sciences not elsewhere classified