|Published online: March 11, 2014||$US5.00|
Graduation rates in engineering vocational fields around the world and in South Africa have been low for many years. The reasons for such low rates are complex but it does not stop researchers from trying to explain this phenomenon approaching from different perspectives. One such perspective is the role that mathematics plays in engineering subjects which all contain mathematics to more of a greater rather than lesser extent. An in depth study to this problem was undertaken at the University of Johannesburg using Survey as the subject a mathematics related subject. The reason for this choice is that Survey contains vast amounts of different sections of mathematics (e.g. Algebra, Trigonometry, Analytical Geometry, Geometry). First and second year cohorts were used and different samples in both subjects and the main constructs used were critical thinking, mathematical content, and application/ transfer. A mixed methods approach was necessary and for each construct a number of indicators were identified. Multivariate methods and Structural Equation Modelling were applied to analyse the results. It was concluded that critical thinking is one main factor for successful transfer while mastering of mathematical knowledge is a necessary but not sufficient condition.to success.
|Keywords:||Mathematics, Critical Thinking, Transfer|
The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning, Volume 20, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.29-41. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 11, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.015MB)).
Academic support coordinator, School of Computing, University of South Africa (Unisa), Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa