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ERIC Number: EJ1163516
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0304-3797
A Study of Competence in Mathematics and Mechanics in an Engineering Curriculum
Munns, Andrew
European Journal of Engineering Education, v42 n6 p1062-1075 2017
Professional bodies expect engineers to show competence in both mathematics and engineering topics such as mechanics, using their abilities in both of these to solve problems. Yet within engineering programmes there is a phenomenon known as "The Mathematics Problem", with students not demonstrating understanding of the subject. This paper will suggest that students are constructing different concept images in engineering and mathematics, based on their perception of either the use or exchange-value for the topics. Using a mixed methods approach, the paper compares 10 different types of concept image constructed by students, which suggests that familiar procedural images are preferred in mathematics. In contrast strategic and conceptual images develop for mechanics throughout the years of the programme, implying that different forms of competence are being constructed by students between the two subjects. The paper argues that this difference is attributed to the perceived use-value of mechanics in the career of the engineer, compared to the exchange-value associated with mathematics. Questions are raised about the relevance of current definitions of competence given that some routine mathematical operations previously performed by engineers are now being replaced by technology, in the new world of work.
Taylor & Francis. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)