# MaLeMINT-E

Mathematical learning prerequisites for non-STEM study programs

The MaLeMINT-E project complements the MaLeMINT study and uses a Delphi study to identify the mathematical learning prerequisites that university teachers expect from first-year students in non-STEM subjects.

## Project data

Research lines | Research Line Domain-Specific Learning in Kindergarten and School | ||

Departments | Mathematics Education | ||

Period | since 4/1/2019 | ||

Status | current | ||

IPN researchers | Prof. Dr. Aiso Heinze (Project lead), Dr. Irene Neumann (Project lead) |

### Motivation

Many students graduate from school believing they will never need mathematics again. Yet more than 80% of students will likely need more than basic knowledge and skills in mathematics.

There seems to be no question about the importance of mathematical knowledge and skills for studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Nevertheless, subjects such as economics, sociology, psychology, sports science or architecture also have high mathematical requirements which can lead to some students being overwhelmed and, in the worst case, dropping out of their studies.

### Goal

In this context, the MaLeMINT-E project aims to examine and systematize the mathematical learning prerequisites expected of first-year students for studies in non-STEM fields from the perspective of universities. The survey results from a sample of around 550 university lecturers will be used to derive minimum standards for mathematical competencies at the start of studies.

### Methods

A Delphi survey of university lecturers who have experience with mathematics instruction in the relevant subjects at the beginning of their studies is at the heart of MaLeMINT-E. The Delphi method is a specific expert survey technique targeting at a consensus view. In MaLeMINT-E a group of experts was surveyed over three rounds. In each round, the data were structured and then reflected back to the expert sample for re-evaluation to reach a consensus.

### Results

Main result of MaLeMINT is a catalog of expected mathematical learning requirements in subjects outside the STEM. Given the employed Delphi technique, the catalog can be a consensus among university lecturers.

### The report (in German) on the results of the study can be downloaded here.

### Limitations of the study

Given the design of the study, MaLeMINT-E cannot provide any information about the underlying causes of the mathematics problems experienced by the first-year students or the extent to which the expectations identified on the part of university teachers are predictive of academic success. Specifically, the project cannot provide evidence for the current debate as to whether competence-based or rule- and fact-based mathematics teaching better prepares students for the mathematical demands of a degree course. The present catalog should also not be understood as an educational policy document formulating educational goals similar to educational standards or subject requirements and core curricula.

### Expected Implications

The developed catalog can be used to make the mathematical requirements of universities transparent for schools and prospective students. It is particularly important that the role of mathematics is also highlighted for subjects that graduates may not even expect. The catalog can be used as a starting point to conceptualize supporting measures such as pre- and bridge courses or to develop competence-related self-tests for future students. In terms of teacher training, the catalog can provide orientation, for example, to raise awareness of the role of mathematics in a very broad spectrum of subjects by providing appropriate in-service training measures, and to encourage examples of application beyond the standard applications. The study’s results may also motivate educational policy discussions on the transition from school to university, since both, the MaLeMINT-E and the MaLeMINT, catalogs describe the university instructors’ expectations for a substantial range of subjects.

### Project members

Aiso Heinze, IPN Kiel, Mathematics Education

Irene Neumann, IPN Kiel, Physics Education /Mathematics Education

Dunja Rohenroth, IPN Kiel, Mathematics Education