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Conditional inference and advanced mathematical study: further evidence

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journal contribution
posted on 06.07.2011, 09:02 by Matthew Inglis, Adrian Simpson
In this paper, we examine the support given for the ‘theory of formal discipline’ by Inglis and Simpson (Educational Studies Mathematics 2008). This theory, which is widely accepted by mathematicians and curriculum bodies, suggests that the study of advanced mathematics develops general thinking skills and, in particular, conditional reasoning skills. We further examine the idea that the differences between the conditional reasoning behaviour of mathematics and arts undergraduates reported by Inglis and Simpson may be put down to different levels of general intelligence in the two groups. The studies reported in this paper call into question this suggestion, but they also cast doubt on a straightforward version of the theory of formal discipline itself (at least with respect to university study). The paper concludes by suggesting that either a pre-university formal discipline effect or a filtering effect on ‘thinking dispositions’ may give a better account for the findings.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Citation

INGLIS, M. and SIMPSON, A., 2009. Conditional inference and advanced mathematical study: further evidence. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 72 (2), pp.185–198.

Publisher

© Kluwer Academic Publishers (now Springer Science + Business Media B.V.)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2009

Notes

This article was published in the journal, Educational Studies in Mathematics [© Springer Science + Business Media B.V.] and the original publication is available at http://www.springerlink.com/content/0013-1954/72/2/

ISSN

0013-1954

Language

en

Exports

Loughborough Publications

Categories

Exports