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Reshaping understandings of teaching-learning relationships in undergraduate mathematics: an activity theory analysis of the role and impact of student internships

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journal contribution
posted on 10.04.2015 by Yvette Solomon, Tony Croft, Francis Duah, Duncan Lawson
This article presents an analysis of an intervention intended to address an aspect of undergraduate mathematics education that is frequently described as a situation of deadlock, between second-year undergraduates who are disillusioned with their university mathematics experience, and mathematics departments which describe many students as lacking interest in, and awareness of, the nature of university-level mathematics and how it is learned: whilst departments strive to support such students, the extent to which they can do so is often seen as limited. The SYMBoL project was designed to address this situation in terms of improving dialogue between students and staff through the introduction of undergraduate internships which challenged traditional hierarchical roles and relationships. Using third generation activity theory to analyse the nature and impact of the internship role, we show how the project legitimised the student voice as channelled through that of the interns, created shifts in perceptions of the problem, and began a process of transformational learning about possibilities in undergraduate mathematics teaching. We consider the implications for developing university mathematics teaching within the wider context of tensions across university systems.

Funding

SYMBoL was funded by the National HE STEM Programme whose contribution is acknowledged.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Learning, Culture and Social Interaction

Volume

3

Issue

4

Pages

323 - 333

Citation

SOLOMON, Y. ... et al, 2014. Reshaping understandings of teaching-learning relationships in undergraduate mathematics: an activity theory analysis of the role and impact of student internships. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 3 (4), pp. 323 - 333

Publisher

© Elsevier Ltd

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2014

Notes

This article was published in the journal Learning, Culture and Social Interaction [© Elsevier Ltd] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lcsi.2014.08.001

ISSN

2210-6561

eISSN

2210-657X

Language

en

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