This project aims to investigate how mathematics beliefs of students in a medical university change in a mathematics-as-a-liberal-art course whose approach is mathematics in history and cultures. Medical doctors and practitioners are highly respected in the Taiwanese society. The trend in medicine-related departments in universities to see mathematics as instruments and reduce the requirements in mathematics, may send a image to medical practitioners, and indirectly to Taiwanese people, that mathematics is merely tools to pass entrance exams and to solve certain technical problems, and there is no need to pay attention to important thinking methods in mathematics. The main corpus of this study is to administer teaching experiments, pre-tests, post-tests and qualitative interviews in a mathematics course “mathematics thinking in a multi-cultural context” taught by the project leader. The researchers want to investigate: What are the medical university students’ beliefs on the nature of mathematics knowledge and on its thinking methods? After taking a mathematics course whose approach is culture and history, do their viewpoints change? If their viewpoints change significantly, what are the directions of the changes? Are the changes related to the contents of the course? This study uses single-group pretest-posttest design. Research tools are questionnaires for pre-tests and post-tests, a mathematics-as-a-liberal-art course whose approach is mathematics in history and cultures, in-class reflections, and semi-structured interviews. Questionnaires will be analysed with inter-triangulation and intra-triangulation, to try to picture students beliefs on the nature of mathematics knowledge and its thinking methods.
|Effective start/end date||8/1/12 → 7/31/13|