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When Basic Mathematics Skills Predict Nothing: Implications for Education and Training.

Ridgway, Jim and Passey, Don (1995) When Basic Mathematics Skills Predict Nothing: Implications for Education and Training. Educational Psychology, 15 (1). pp. 35-44.

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Abstract

A study was conducted into the mathematical needs of engineering apprentices, triggered by a decline in the basic number skills of applicants. The mathematical challenges of engineering differ from the mathematics taught in school. In particular, great precision is required and different techniques; a good deal of practical problem solving is necessary, too. Conventional measures of educational attainment had high predictive validity; a test created to sample the mathematical skills directly involved in engineering had low predictive validity. We conclude that perfect mathematical technique is essential in engineering; the competencies learned from a broad-based education generalise to practical work; acquisition of mathematical technique does not; technical perfection is not a 'foundation', but rather is a component of mathematical education; mathematics education should encourage the development of a broad range of skills and some successful application of technique; and the deployment of skills in a range of contexts should be encouraged.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Educational Psychology
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Educational Research
ID Code: 30739
Deposited By: Mrs Yaling Zhang
Deposited On: 02 Dec 2009 15:36
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 20:30
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/30739

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