Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

The challenge of proof in the transition from A-level maths to university Seminar

12:00 - 13:00
22 November 2022

Event details

Students’ difficulties with mathematical proof and transition from secondary to university mathematics are key topics within mathematics education research. In this talk, we report on research with the Southampton Mathematics department and A-level mathematics teachers. In the transition from A-level maths and further maths to undergraduate mathematics, the topic of proof always is a big challenge for students. In our study, we analysed answers to a ‘proof by induction’ task from first-year undergraduate mathematics students. Findings show that many students find the proof by induction process challenging. Results illustrate the difficulties students face when they are asked to engage with a proof by induction task within the Calculus context and provide insight into the transition from A-level maths to undergraduate maths. We highlight how a multidisciplinary team of mathematics specialists (mathematics education researchers, secondary maths teachers, mathematicians) created a resource to support A-level teachers, trialled in this academic year. The booklet ‘Thinking about Proof’ supports A-level teachers in teaching proof and facilitating a smoother transition to university mathematics. 

Speaker information

Professor Christian Bokhove and Dr Athina Thoma,Southampton Education School

Privacy Settings