Teachers’ Reflections on the Challenges of Teaching Mathematics Bridging Courses

Sue Gordon, Jackie Nicholas

Abstract


The past fifteen years has seen a drift away from mathematical options in year 12 in which higher-level mathematical skills are taught (Brown, 2009), and an increase in the number of students enrolling in mathematics bridging courses. Effective teaching and learning in mathematics bridging courses are more important than ever. In this paper we present empirical data collected through a series of email interviews on the perceived challenges of teaching or coordinating these courses and strategies some employed to meet these challenges. We engaged educators in structured reflections on their approaches to teaching and learning in mathematics bridging courses, and created opportunities for participants to explore and potentially improve their own practices. Our findings suggest directions for future research and opportunities for reflection and debate about pedagogy in this important, yet little researched, context.

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