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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Exploring Transitions Between Secondary and University Mathematics Seminar

12:00 - 13:00
22 March 2022

Event details

The Education School invites you to attend our online research seminar! If you are interested in attending, please contact us at

The transition between secondary and university mathematics is a multi-faceted phenomenon. In this talk, I will highlight aspects of this transition drawing on two research projects: my doctoral study, which investigates this transition at the setting of closed book examinations, and an ongoing research project on first-year students' use of LEAN (an automated theorem prover).

Results from the closed book examination task analysis indicate that students are given directions aimed at their enculturation. However, despite lecturers' attempts, students' scripts showcase conflicts between school and university mathematics. Furthermore, focusing on one of the mathematical practices of university mathematics, proof writing, the data analysis suggests that engagement with LEAN assists in making the proof-writing more rigorous and abstract. Yet, very few students decide to engage with LEAN.

Both research projects highlight aspects of the transition between secondary and university mathematics and the transition between different mathematical areas. The results from these projects can be used to create professional development resources aimed at mathematics lecturers.

Speaker information

Dr Athina Thoma , Lecturer in Mathematics Education within Southampton Education School at the University of Southampton.

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