UAI research seeks to create methodological changes that contribute to the way of teaching in this area.
UAI Communications.- How do mathematical thinking styles influence students who take mathematical subjects? In order to contribute with new data that allow methodological improvements regarding instruction and evaluations, the UAI academic, Rodrigo Hernandezwill initiate a study that will quantify and analyze these styles thanks to the support of the Research Support Program (PAI).
The research – framed in the Teaching Research Contest – is based on the great impact that mathematics has on the training of a professional. Also, considering the case of the University, there is 12% of students who fail to pass mathematics subjects within the main careers that contain them: Civil Engineering and Commercial Engineering; all this despite the methodological changes that have been made over time. For this reason, it is proposed to look at a dimension absent until now in the discussions about continuous improvement in the teaching/learning experience, this is that of “mathematical thinking styles” or MTS (for its acronym in English).
As explained by the leader of this study, the academic from the Faculty of Engineering and Sciences, Rodrigo Hernandez, “Thinking style is essentially the way of thinking. Not the ability, but the way in which we prefer to use the abilities that the student has. Ultimately, MTS refers to how students prefer to do something”.
To concretize the research, the professor will initially analyze the data from a survey that measures the style of mathematical thinking that has already been applied to students of Differential Equations; to subsequently carry out a new survey of first-year students of Civil Engineering, Commercial Engineering and Baccalaureate (it is expected that there will be about 1,500); in addition to the creation and application of a specific form for teachers.
Finally, after executing this project, it is expected to obtain answers regarding mathematical thinking styles, their relationship with the academic results of students and with the syllabus of the subjects. “With the results of the analysis of both surveys, we hope to have a consultation base for different methodological changes in the instruction of mathematics subjects at the UAI, but above all in the forms of evaluations, which are oriented to only one type. of mathematical thought”concludes Hernandez.